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How to Develop Goals: Habits vs. Outcomes

Goals are the starting point to success; unfortunately, too many people fail to actively make them. In a post for Project Management Hacks, Bruce Harpham helps to provide motivation in the goal-making process.

Habits are generally good things to develop. For instance, if you exercise a few times a week it becomes easier to maintain a workout routine. In the same sense, goals can operate in the same fashion. Each day write down a few goals that you would like to accomplish before that eighth hour strikes. Soon enough, that habit will become second nature and the goal-making process will become routine.

An outcome goal is simply a “finish line.” For example, if you had a goal to run a marathon and then you completed said marathon. These types of goals in the business setting may transcribe into wishing to complete a certification before a set date or to obtain a decent rating during an audit completed annually. Some of these goals may be easily tied to the business’s larger mission, and will in turn be deemed successes for the organization as a whole. In order for this type of goal to be successful, you need to begin the phrase with an action verb; this eliminates any hesitation and replaces it with assertion. Additionally make it quantitative so that the goal and outcome can be measured either successfully or not. Finally, always put a deadline with the goal to add a bit of urgency and drive to complete it.

Both habit and outcome goals have their merit, and a diversified mix of the two will translate nicely into success for you and the organization. Do not wait for your organization to strong arm you into goal-making. Be a go-getter and set yourself goals to really set yourself apart from coworkers.

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About Danielle Koehler

Danielle is a staff writer for CAI’s Accelerating IT Success. She has degrees in English and human resource management from Shippensburg University.

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