“A goal without a plan is just a wish” – Antoine de Saint Exupery #MondayMorningWakeUpCall
The best way to score some goals is to put together a plan for it. The best way to go after a plan is to put some deadlines to it. One of the tricky parts is setting deadlines.
Set a deadline that’s too difficult and you just might drop dead. Set an artificial (read impossible) deadline and you won’t even care when it whooshes past you. Set a deadline that doesn’t challenge you and Parkinson’s Law (“work expands to fill in time”) will take over, you won’t ever learn your potential.
The best way I’ve found to set real deadlines is to break up the plan into small chunks and create estimates of how long I think they’ll take. It fundamentally requires just some thinking through. In instances when I’m doing something for the 1st time then I either google it to get a sense of what the task involves or figure how long others would probably take for it by googling or even asking around.
Like any skill, the more you practice, the better you become. I’ve found this a very handy skill cos I’d rather set my own deadlines than allow anyone else to put a gun on my head and shoot me dead. It also gives me the confidence to push back on unreal deadlines if I’ve thought a plan through.
You of course could also argue why do you need to set any goals. I guess that’s fine as long as you don’t have any wishes. But if you are like most people, wishing upon every star that falls, then the wish will go into motion only when YOU go into motion.
Cos like Scott Adams puts it, “Wishing starts in the mind and stays there.”
That’s just a waste of a wish, isn’t it?