Identify what goals are critical to the outcome you desire. These goals will be your final goals. If your goal is to earn $1000 per week from your consulting business, then your income goal is afinal goal. If you decide that the best way to do this would be to add two new clients, this goalwould be a planning goal. Planning goals are a means to an end. If you later decide that byimproving your value and increasing your commission from the clients you already have wouldbe more profitable, scrap the planning goal. Planning goals only represent what you feel is thebest path for you to take at this time. Eliminate them if you feel there is reasonable evidence thatanother path would be superior.Being able to decide whether you should stick with your current path or go down another one is adifficult choice. There is no hard or fast rule that you can use to decide where to travel when youmeet such a junction. In many cases staying with your goal can keep you from chasing fantasieswith no real substance. In other cases choosing a new path can greatly reduce the effort requiredto get to your goal.In cases where it is difficult to decide what route to go, you must use what Steven Covey calls,“Integrity in the moment of choice.” By utilizing both your intuitive and rational reasoningcapabilities you need to trust your judgement and go with the route that seems best. You mightnot have enough information to fully ascertain which decision will be the most effective. Beingable to form a decision on partial information can be difficult, but it is a necessary skill to build.
Don’t Become Attached to the Path
Almost as dangerous as the person who wildly jumps from one aim to another without seeinganything through is the person who stubbornly refuses to take a path that differs from their presetguide. Becoming attached to the path we are currently can be a side effect of goal setting. Sinceyou have already set out how we are going to achieve what we desire, opportunities and changescould be viewed as threats. It is also easy to feel that because you had created a strongcommitment to a goal, you must keep the goal even if the information it was set upon haschanged. Goals are tools, not rules. If achieving a goal won’t serve you anymore, dump it.There is only one thing you need to commit to, and that is the result you desire. Everythingbetween that point and where you stand today should be left flexible wherever possible. To getattached to the path you have previously defined ignores the changing reality of life.The goals I set to produce the project you see today when through massive changes as I receivednew information. The only goal I committed to was on when I had decided to get it finished andreleased. Everything between changed so rapidly that I would rarely get to the end of one goalbefore having to switch directions and set a few more. Commitment to the final goal gave me theboundaries to ensure a final result. Flexibility with the goal in between gave me the range to dothe most effective job possible within those boundaries.
Planning is an Active Process
Planning isn’t over when you write your first copy and start acting on your goal. Planning isn’tfinished until you’ve produced the result. If you lack experience in an area, chances are your