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Goals, plans and intent
Goals, plans and intent
During the first week of the year, every news stream is flooded with stories about new year resolutions. Some happily list their resolutions, some give advice to help you keep your resolutions, while others question the point of new years resolutions at all. Resolutions, however, is only part of a larger subject called a "plan".

A resolution is merely a strong intent to execute a plan in order to reach a future goal. And in that sentence, I have already mentioned three subjects that could be, and have been written books about: Intent, plan and goal.

Goal
If you want to succeed at something, you have to know wat success is. Happily, we have a tool called "S.M.A.R.T. goals". That is, every goal needs to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.

This doesn't mean you can't have seemingly unattainable goals. Indeed, many will encourage you to set goals that are bigger than life, because they will challenge you to reach heights that you would otherwise not have reached.

The goal, of course, is attainable only through a set of actions, which we call a plan.

Plan
When you get down to it, a plan is a number of very specific actions, which are S.M.A.R.T. goals in themselves. You break down your goal into the details of what needs to be done, put it in a schedule and hold yourself accountable to follow through on that plan.

Each mini-goal is a milestone. Milestones are keys to your progress. They help you visualize how far you've made it, how much is left, and keep pushing you towards your goal. They give you a scheduled time for a retrospect on your work towards your goal and keep you motivated. Celebrate every milestone, because this is what solidifies your intent.

Intent
Without intent, there is no resolve. With no resolve, you will not reach your goal. The tool to boost your intent on attaining youar goal is the milestone.

New Year's Eve is the cultural reference point of a milestone. It is the point in time when we sum up what we have been up the for the last year, we close the accounting books and open new ones, government rotates its annual plans, and we celebrate it all in one big, world wide party.

So if your resolutions for the new year only lasts for a month, then your next milestone should be in a month. And for your next milestone, you should have the following goal: to lay out the plan for your annual goal with monthly milestones.

Get to it!
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