Tim Connor believes in establishing goals and gives us tips on how to set them effectively.

Well folks, it is hard to believe, but we quickly are approaching the mid-point of another year. June is a pivotal month for me in my career and always has been. It represents the passage from what has and has not been accomplished to what will be completed in the second half of the year. I believe in setting goals. I believe in having a long-term focus as well as short-term objectives or benchmarks. I believe in putting accountability into your goals. And I believe that without a clear purposeful direction in life supported by unwavering principles and beliefs - you will die either broke, alone, disappointed, frustrated, bitter or any combination of the above. There are a number of contemporary, as well as time-tested, approaches to setting goals. I cannot possibly cover all of them, so I will briefly address only two - the revolving goal process and the direction process.

The revolving goal philosophy is where you set only weekly, monthly or quarterly goals as if they were long term goals broken down into smaller bites. In actuality you are looking at a week or month as if it were a piece of a year (or longer) rather than see it as a month or quarter, etc. Let me give you a brief personal example. Let's say I have a goal to write 25,000 words in a month. During May, I only write 18,000 words. So I now am facing a new month, June, a new segment of time. I can: a) quit writing, b) set a goal for June of 15,000 words so I accomplish it (realistically) or c) set a goal to write 32,000 words in June. I am either: 1) giving up and saying I can't do it, 2) making it easier to reach my next goal or 3) forcing myself to make up what I didn't do in May, as well as my June goal of 25,000 words.

All of this goal stuff tends to give me a headache. I wonder, really, is it necessary to spend all of this time planning, wondering, worrying and thinking about goals when, in the end, they may not be realized? I don't have an answer to that one. I do know, however, there are many people who have accomplished a great deal without giving this goal stuff a lot of energy. And there are just as many people who have spent hours, and often days, on the process and still end up not reaching their goals.

The direction philosophy says your goals serve only one purpose. They give you direction as you move through life so you can stay on track toward your desired target. It makes the assumption you are shooting for something. The focus is then not on what you accomplish, but on your activity. Again, I give you an example. If I am going to write a book in a month, let's say I must write 35,000 words. I need to write every day. Any day that I don't write, I am not moving in the right direction. And any day that I write, regardless of how many words, I am moving in the right direction. This is just as true with dieting, exercise, money management, etc.

So now might be a good time to see how you are doing regardless of which approach might work for you. Do you need to change anything to get back on track? Are you headed in the right direction today?

Motivation quote for the month: "It is no use saying, 'We are doing our best.' You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary." - Winston Churchill