Deliver Your Vital Goals


Whether you’re in business for yourself or work for an organization, it’s a certainty that you’ll have many goals to accomplish as the year turns. To keep from feeling overwhelmed, invest some time reviewing your list of goals, and determine the “Vital Few” that give the maximum amount of return for your effort.

To do this, simply ask yourself this question: “Which of my goals will drive the most success for me?” Don’t forget to add personal goals, including those related to your health and family, to the list. Once you determine what’s critical to your professional and personal well being, write those items down. Keep that list in a visible place, and look at them often, reminding yourself of your goals. This will help you create the necessary discipline as you manage a busy month or year.

To deliver on your Vital Goals, you must understand and focus on what’s important. Here are several ways to help you do just that:

Eliminate the Trivial Many.

Take stock of your time. Pay attention to how you spend your precious minutes, and think about ways to get a better grip on your time. Assess how and where you spend time, and identify anything that is putting this critical resource at risk. Are you spending too many hours in unnecessary meetings? Do you spend too much time sorting through or deleting emails, for example? Record your time expenditures over the span of a few “typical” workdays, writing everything down, no matter how small it may initially seem. Then, examine how much time you’re spending on the things that are robbing you from pursuing or achieving your Vital Goals.

Delegate the nonessential.

Once you know where not to spend your time, delegate! Find solutions for managing your frequent time-wasters in a more efficient way. Perhaps you can implement a new technology that sends all nonessential emails to a special inbox, so you don’t have to do it by hand every morning. Or, assign a direct report the task of managing meetings you don’t need to attend, providing you with a weekly meeting progress report. Think of your time as currency that must be saved, and spent wisely.

Schedule time to work on Vital Goals.

Regularly set aside a chunk of time to work on the truly important items that need your care. Take an hour a week, for example, to focus on planning and strategizing toward achieving your Vital Goals. This may include reserving time to pursue what’s important from a holistic (not just professional) perspective, as well as scheduling time for accountability, e.g., regularly meeting with a colleague or friend to share pitfalls and progress. Taking a disciplined approach to scheduling time for your Vital Goals will generate higher results.

When you haven’t created time to pursue what’s important, what Vital Goals have you pushed aside — and what have been the consequences?


​ The Disciplined Leader

What do the best leaders have in common? The answer is one word: Discipline. A disciplined leader is one who identifies and focuses on the Vital Few: the 20% of activities that will drive 80% of the results. Learn More

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