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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Goal Setting

I had the opportunity a few weeks back to teach a course on time management to JCI members during a training weekend organized by JCI Marseille. One of the most important questions that comes up during this course is “What to do with your time?” To this question, there are three answers:
  1. Define your goals.
  2. Write down the actions you need to take to achieve them.
  3. Free up time to accomplish said actions.
First things first, we have to define our goals. Your goal has to be SMART or Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

I’m going to use my Around the Worldfast project as an example: my goal is to raise $20,000 to purchase 2,000 malaria-preventing bednets by March 2011. This goal is specific, measurable, and time-bound. It is also relevant as it is in line with my values. But is it attainable?

I’ve realized over time that it is important to set ambitious goals. When you take aim at something, you rarely fall far from your mark. For example, I recently sent out a newsletter to more than 2,500 people, 750 of whom opened it. I set a goal to raise $200 with this newsletter by encouraging readers to purchase bednets. The result: 15.5 bednets. Here is a case in point: sometimes we don’t always reach our goals but if we’ve defined them and taken steps to achieve them, we’ll be closer to accomplishing them in the end!

I want to thank Elizabeth, Nicholas, Corinne and Agn├Ęs for helping save lives and getting us closer to achieving the UN Millenium Development Goal to have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases.

More to come about my stay in Paris in the next post...

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