Doing something well is worthless if you are doing the wrong thing. Your personal effectiveness is maximized when you remain focused on your goals.

Defining a specific detailed path to your goals is an absolute requirement. Here are 5 methods of defining efficient paths to achieve defined goals:
1. Backward planning. In this method, you begin by stating the step immediately prior to the goal. Then you define the step immediately prior to that. You continue this until you have reached the beginning. The advantage of this method is that each step of the path is created by by what you want to have happened, not what you think should happen next.
2. State diagrams. Sometimes the goal is best reached by forcing certain states or conditions to come into being. For example, if your goal is to organize a large meeting, you might have a state of “filled auditorium” and then define how that state came into being.
3. Flow charts. This method shows where decisions have to be made and what happens as a result of each decision. For example, in the example of the meeting, you would have a decision of “is the number of pre-purchased tickets greater than the room that was booked?” Then you would have one step, or process, for “Yes, we have sold more tickets that the room can hold” and one for “no, the room can fit everyone who bought a ticket.”
4. Just in time resourcing. Managing resources is crucial to achieving goals. This method of planning details what resources are needed for each step or phase of the process toward the goal. Still using the meeting planning scenario, you would list that advertising and printing materials are needed early on the path, and handouts and projection materials are needed at or near the time of the meeting.
5. Personnel planning. Just like resources must be planned to achieve the goal, so must the proper use of personnel. Even for personal goals, planning when you need assistance will help you achieve your goal much easier.
Once you have defined the goals and the path to get there, you need to determine what resources will be required. The simplest example of this is knowing that you will need gasoline to drive your car to a specific place. First, list all the resources that would be needed or consumed from beginning to end, without regard to cost or accessibility. Break this down to resources for each milestone or stage of the path. Include resources needed for logistics, such as number of trucks needed to bring the boxes of materials for the meeting. Resources also include the people needed and when they are needed. For example, you might need 10 people to load the trucks and then 15 people to unload the trucks and get the meeting materials to where they are needed. Also make note of any resources needed to store or support the resources. Using this same example, you might need specialized storage bins right before the meeting to hold the materials.

Now, look at the availability of the resources. See what are available immediately. You might need to reserve them. If certain resources are not available immediately, you may have to schedule them to be available at the stage where and when they are needed. You may need to alter your plans to match the plan up with when resources or key people are available. You should also explore whether substitutes are available and whether shortfalls in resources can be made up.

Defining the path is important. Equally as important is defining the milestones on the path. Milestones have several purposes. One is to divide the path into a series of phases. Another is to define important points at which to stop and assess how progress to wear the goal is being achieved. It may be optimum to assign responsibility to achieve each milestone to different people, depending on skills and availability. Using milestones allows for more efficient allocation of resources and personnel.

People will judge your personal effectiveness on how well you can achieve goals. Having a path and a plan for allocation of resources will help you show this off to its best presentation.

Author's Bio: 

Rick Carter created STRESS JUDO COACHING, aggressive stress management coaching for maximum personal effectiveness, based on his 17+ years of experienced in the courtroom and 25+ years of experience in the dojo (martial arts school). Rick is a certified coach and attorney licensed in 3 states. If you want to develop the mindset of a black belt martial artist toward stressful situations, go to STRESS JUDO COACHING.