Becoming a Goal Detective

by Kevin L. Polk, Ph.D.

You have probably heard a lot about goal setting and time management. I tend to talk about them in the same breath because if you have a goal, it requires effort to achieve the goal. Effort, among other things, requires time. Most often, however, we tend to think about goals first, then spending time and effort on the goal second. For example, you might set a goal to make at least one new contact for your business per day. In order to meet that goal you will need to spend some time engaged in effort that will you get you a contact per day. This is a of course a very good way of setting goals and achieving them.

Sometimes, however, it is fun to play goal detective. To figure out what your goals are based on how you spend your time. It’s sort of like those psychological profiles you hear about in movies and television, but this time you will do it on yourself. Believe it or not, you know how you spend almost each minute of the day. What you probably don’t do is write down how you spend each of those minutes. But if you were a detective and staking yourself out you would be writing down everything you did and when you did it. So writing down what you do is the first step in being your own goal detective.

So now that you know how you spend your time your next step is putting the time spent into categories. Ones like eating, sleeping, working and playing are the most obvious, but you can come up with as many as you want. Since you are being a detective you will want to ask lots of questions about your activities in each of these categories. Here you use basic who, what, when, where and how questions to fill in information. For example, “Who did I spend time with?” “Where did I spend the time?” “What book did I read?” are possible questions that you could ask yourself. You will come up with lots more. When you have finished with the questions you ask, “Now WHY did I spend my time that way?” The answer to this question is the goal, or at least part of a set of goals, that motivated you to spend your time that way.

Maybe you will find out about goals that you did not know you had. Maybe you will like the goals you find, maybe you wont like them. Maybe you will find some of the goals are your own and others are goals that have been thrust upon you by others. Whatever you find out, chances are the exercise will be good for you. At the very least you will have at least one day you will know what things you did and why you did them.

Dr. Kevin Polk: Family Man, Goal and Time Management Coach, Speaker, Writer and Psychologist. Too much time at work? Too little with the family? Stop by http://www.timedoctor.com for a chance at FREE time management coaching.

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