Goals differ from intentions or ideas in several key aspects.

Every goal:

  • Has a deadline
    • A goal is achieved at some point in the future. By having a deadline, the goal is focused, even if the deadline is not specific: “next week”, “next year”, etc.
    • A goal without a deadline is an intention.
  • Is measurable
    • One or more conditions that indicate when the goal has been reached, such as “built my house” (the house is ready for occupancy); “completing a course” (I passed the final / learned the material); “saved up to buy a car” (I have enough money to buy the car)
  • Has an owner
    • The person responsible for moving work forward to achieve the goal; may not be the same person as the one who does the work.
  • Must be reviewed on a regular basis
    • Conditions and people change, so it is important to review every goal to determine if it needs to be adjusted to fit reality.
    • Sometimes goals may no longer be necessary so continuing to pursue them is time better spent in other ways.
    • Some questions to ask about every goal:
    • is it necessary/desired?
    • is work on track to finish by the deadline?
    • is the deadline still applicable? and
    • is it still achievable?