Effective Goal Management Requires Seeing the Trees for the Forest

by Brad Isaac on January 5, 2008

This is tip #10 of the 31 day series 101 Goal Setting Breakthroughs: A 31 Day Blog Series That Will Make 2008 Your Best Year Ever! Subscribe to my free RSS feed to get the rest of the series and never miss a tip!

Has anyone ever told you you “can’t see the forest for the trees?” If so, great! You are well on your way to being an effective goal setter.

As I touched on yesterday, your power in setting goals and being able to accomplish them is commensurate with your skill at making the steps simple. Like the criticism he can’t see the forest for the trees, it is just the opposite when you are breaking down a goal. You need to see the trees instead of the forest. Everyone can plant a tree. We all could probably plant several today if we liked. But plant an entire forest? That’s more than one person can handle in a day – even IF your great uncle was Johnny Appleseed!

101_goal_setting_breakthroughs_2008One of the comments on the blog yesterday from Geoff indicates his goal for 2008 is to run 2008 km. That is a big ambition! If I was to look at “the forest” of that goal, since I do not run nearly that much, I might be tempted to give up before I even start. But by focusing on “the trees” I see that the daily quota to fill that goal is 2008 divided by 365. So you would have a daily quota of 5.50 kilometers. Or, he might choose to break it down to four 10 km runs per week. It’s still ambitious, but much more achievable.

Looking for the trees instead of the forest decreases your fear and anxiety when you choose a goal that forces you to stretch. Trees can be planted one by one, forests cannot.

How can you turn your goal into a series of tree plantings as opposed to a one stop forest rejuvenation project? Do you see any way the you can take it a step further to make the tree plantings into seed plantings?

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