For some, the most difficult aspect of working from home is actually getting some work done. With so many distractions around the house (e.g., television, stereo, family members, pets, etc.), it’s easy to see why working at home can be difficult at times.
Whether or not you encounter any of these distractions is beside the point. Establishing goals and sticking with them is an essential component of any successful endeavor because they assist you in measuring your progress and also give you a direction from which you can start.
There are two commonly recognized types of goals: Long term and short term goals. Long term goals are typically described as goals that you would like to accomplish within the next five to ten years. Long term goals should read something like this: “I will live in a million dollar house within the next five years.” “I will retire in the next ten years.” “In six years I’ll own a Porsche.”
Short term goals are goals that you would like to accomplish within the next few months to a year at the latest. They should be directly related to how you plan to accomplish your long term goals (i.e., small steps that will bring you to the top). Short term goals could read something like this: “I will submit my website to three pay per click search engines a day until I have submitted to 15 search engines.” “I will devote two hours a day 5 days a week to marketing my Internet business, during the next three months.” “I will spend one hour, every other day, reading about Internet marketing techniques until I’ve read 5 books.”
When writing short and long term goals you must be sure that they contain three critical components: who, what and when. Specifically, you must always identify “who” the goal applies to. Additionally, you must specify “what” behavior the goal will measure. Finally, you must specify the time frame “when” you expect to complete the goal.
Writing down your goals is a very important component of success; however, you should realize that goals are not written in stone and they are subject to change at any time. For example, if you reach a long term goal before you thought you would, you can change your short term goals to reflect this accomplishment. More often than not, we tend to underestimate ourselves. If we stick to our short term goals our long term goals tend to be accomplished faster than we originally thought they would. Also, if a long term goal is not within reach by the timeframe that you specified, modify the timeframe or rewrite the goal to be more “realistic.”
Ok, now that you know how to write measurable goals, it’s time to sit down and commit them to paper. I can’t emphasize this enough!– Once you have your short term and long term goals written you should put them somewhere where you will see them on a regular basis. The more visible they are to you, the more likely you are to remember them and make a conscious effort to accomplish them. Good luck!