The Eagle Blog

Goals Without Plans are Pipe Dreams

Dream becomes goal quote by Bo BennettI am a big fan of goals.

  • They give you something to aim for.
  • They provide focus.
  • They are the foundation of any great time management system.
  • They are necessary for any company that wants success, and highly recommended for anyone who wants to achieve success in almost anything, personal or career oriented.

A goal without a plan, that is actionable, has timelines and is realistic, is just a dream.  Martin Luther King Jr famously said, “I have a dream!”  The thing is that his dream also had a plan … he was working to make his dream a reality!

If you have ever looked at business plans from early stage companies there is a trend among some percentage of them to have a growth goal that looks like a hockey stick (very slow growth now followed by exponential growth in the future) .  Invariably the “business plan” will cite statistics for the size of the world-wide market and a comment that suggests if the company just takes 3% of the worldwide market they will achieve their targets.  THAT is not a plan … THAT is a dream (or a wish).

One of my personal favorite pipe dreams is the “If we just grow by 10% per year for the next 7 years we will double in size.”  That is a goal, not a plan.  The plan is needed to show the path to get that 10% growth each year, and will likely include multiple means to achieve the growth.

So … if you have a goal (or dream) then you have a good starting point.

The very next step is to lay out a plan that will get you to that goal.

  • It needs to be measurable.
  • It needs to be actionable.
  • It needs to be doable … even if it is a stretch.
  • It needs be tracked.
  • It needs to be reviewed periodically.
  • It needs to be flexible so that as situations change, then the plan can change.
  • I would suggest getting help developing the plan, and also help holding you accountable to the plan.
  • I would suggest having milestone goals along the way, that will demonstrate your progress.
  • I would suggest celebrating wins as you go, to stay motivated.
  • You might also want to stretch your goal as you get closer … because success breed more success!

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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