5

Specific Guidelines

     A goal is your blueprint to progress.  Therefore, the blueprint needs to be stated in specific terms with concrete guidelines.  These guidelines help specify the plan that will be put into action in attainment of the goal.  For example, if your goal is 3 bales of cotton to the acres, then a rotation program may have to be implemented in order to raise the soil components so that the bale count can rise.  Specific guidelines are a must.

Think about this:

                        Our main business is not dimly at a distance but

                                    To do what lies clearly at hand.

                                                                                                -Thomas Carlyle

Focus

     Focus is the process of bringing together the resources necessary to accomplish a goal.  There may be several factors that will need to figure into the 3 bale to the acre count; no matter how many or what the situation is the focus will have to remain the same. You must stay on task in order to accomplish any goal you have set for yourself.

Timetable

     Goals need to have a definite timetable.  Decide how long it will take to achieve the goal you have set.  The time period needs to be realistic but also very flexible.  A realistic timetable is based on how long it will feasibly take to achieve your goal.  If you set a timetable that there is no way of meeting, then your goal will not be accomplished, and you will feel as though you have failed.  In essence though, you have not been realistic in setting the timetable portion correct.  Your timetable also needs to be flexible.  Even the best-made plans sometimes do not work out, or sometimes they need to be changed because of unforeseeable circumstances.

     To help make a decision as to which timetable will work best with your goals, classify your goals into one of the following types:

     IMMEDIATE – an immediate goal is a goal you wish to achieve right now, within the next few minutes, or the next few hours.  Immediate goals, while not highly challenging, are superb motivators because they require instantaneous action in order to achieve them.  Individuals, who tend to have difficulty setting goals, or those who find themselves procrastinating, can benefit from setting immediate goals.  Organized people are usually good at setting immediate goals, as they are list-makers who structure their days around crossing items off a list.  These people may not realize that they are actually setting and achieving one immediate goal after another.  The main drawback of setting immediate goals occurs if you choose to focus solely on setting and achieving these goals and not considering them as an “investment” in the future.

     SHORT-TERM GOALS  – the time period for short-term goals is from one week to one month.  A short-term goal works best when weekly progress evaluations are included, and goals revised if necessary.  A short-term goal can be repetitive to attaining a longer, harder to reach goal. An example would be reading a magazine article about one of the types of crops grown in your operation.

     MID-TERM GOALS   - a mid-term goal covers the time period from one month to one year.  Examples of mid-term goals include taking an educational course, on production improvement methods.  Mid-term goals are more ambitious than immediate or short-term goals, and are usually more difficult to achieve.  As a result, monthly review periods are often helpful in evaluating the progress.

     LONG-TERM GOALS  – generally a two to four-year period is the time frame for a long-term goal.  Usually long-term goals are focused on training or education completion, or paying off the land mortgages.  Long-term goals require patience in order to achieve them.  Sometimes breaking a long-term goal down into mid-term or short-term goals helps stimulate a high level of interest throughout the time period necessary to achieve a long-term goal.  Generally long-term goals involve a high degree of risk.  This risk carries with it the possibility of success as well as the possibility of failure.  Even though the achievement of a long-term goal is not always assured, long-term goals can bring about positive changes in an individual, a lifestyle, or an entire production operation.

     TARGET GOALS  – target goals are a little different than all the other types that have been discussed.  Those can either be geared where a personal involvement is concerned or where the business is effected but target goals are concerned with lifestyle desires or dreams (to be married or to be single, to have children or not to, to live in the city or on the farm).  Fantasies are also a valid part of target goals.  Unlike the rest of the goals we have discussed target goals do not have a timetable; rather they are used to set shorter-term goals that have more specific time frames.  Some target goals though require an open-ended time frame.  1) The cat is black.  Target goals are rather vague of nature with no definite organization and simply point us in a general direction.  Perhaps we should set a target goal before we ever set our regular goals so we can make all those goals on target.

Assessment/Achievement

     The final component of goal setting is determining a time when the goal and/or your progress towards that goal can be assessed.  This time allows you to evaluate whether a goal is still valid.  It also allows time to revise the goal, and/or to recognize and celebrate a goal’s achievement.  One area of the entire operation of goal setting that is sometimes neglected is the let’s be happy about past successes.  This makes future goals easier to accomplish since we have seen the benefits of goal setting and achievements from them.

Think about this:

                        Romance isn’t always pretty dresses and guys that don’t sweat.

                        Sometimes it’s about threats and anxiety and fear and walking

                        Through mine fields together.

                                                                             Actor – James Woods

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