“Get Up and Goal,” Ensign, Sept. 1983, 65
We won’t achieve our desires, either in development of talents or in life itself, by accident. While life will ultimately take us to our final destination, it is planning that helps determine whether that destination is the one we wanted. The right kinds of goals might make the difference.
But how do we set goals? First, we can use what business experts refer to as all level planning. This means that everyone involved in working toward the goals is involved in setting them. Setting family goals, for example, should be done not only by all of the adults, but by everyone old enough to talk.
The way to begin is on a realistic level. We want to tie our far-reaching goals to everyday life with a line of lesser goals and use these to build a ladder to success.
A very useful evaluation list was given at a recent business seminar. It applies just as neatly to a family as to a corporation:
1. Where are we now?
2. Where are we going as we are?
3. Where do we want to go?
4. What may get us there?
5. When can we expect to arrive?
6. Who is responsible for the work?
7. What resources will it take?
8. Can we do it?
To be of any value, these questions, especially the first two, require bluntly honest answers.
We need to face ourselves and our families as we really are, not as we would like to imagine that we are or even as others think we are.
In answering these questions, we may find that at first the replies to questions four and seven might not be obvious. A useful tool in answering these questions is a task list. Imagine, for example, that we have decided as a family to refinish the basement together. To construct a task list, we simply write down everything that needs to be done, every detail no matter how small, add how long we think each will take and how much we think each will cost. The list itself answers question four. Adding up the times gives the answer to question five. Delegating the tasks takes care of question six. And adding up the costs fills in question seven.
This technique applies equally well to personal, less temporal goals such as developing talents or preparing for a temple marriage.
Working on goals can sometimes be discouraging, so you may find it a good idea to share even personal goals with the whole family. Doing so puts that good old-fashioned booster, morale, to work. Family home evening is a great time for cheering each other on.
If we sort our activities, make decisions, establish priorities, and set measurable goals, using delegation and morale to help us along, then we have paved a broad, clear path to our grand eternal goals. All that remains is to follow it. Victoria W. Romney, Princeton Junction, New Jersey