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Achieve Your Goals #2 - Define the Finished Product

This week's topic is finishing your Projects. Almost everyone has a project that is difficult to finish, and many of us have projects that are hard to even start.


One of the keys to finishing a project is to figure out what it will look like when it is completed.


In other words, how will you know when your project is done?


You may think that the answer to this question is obvious, but, actually, it is not quite so simple. 


A major reason people fail to achieve their goals starts when they do not properly define their goals. 


One way to help you create an achievable goal is by making it a SMART Goal, like we discussed last week. But what if you are dealing with a large, multi-faceted project? A single SMART Goal does not seem to be sufficient. How can you find clarity in this case?


We recommend that our clients Define the Finished Product before beginning any large project. 


In principle, this activity is simple. You only have to think of and write down what the project will look like when it is completed. Also, let’s try to make it more achievable by only writing down the minimum requirements for calling it finished.


Let me give you an example.


Last month, I had a client who felt she was spinning her wheels starting her new business. The business was a certificate and training program for making restaurants dog friendly. She was confused about what to do next. There are so many things to do with a business that it can be overwhelming to choose one activity.


So I had her define the finished product, while emphasizing the minimum requirements. She brainstormed, thinking of a single action that she could visualize that for her would symbolize that her business was launched. 


This is what she wrote down:


I have created a certification, and at least one restaurant is using it.


Notice that with her finished product, there will be no doubt in her mind when she has achieved it. It also creates a mental image. I can easily imagine the restaurant owner receiving the certification, placing it on his or her wall, and opening his establishment to receive dog owners with their pets. 


If you have not done so already, take a current big project that does not seem to be moving forward and see if you can define the project’s finished product, while emphasizing its minimum requirements.


As a challenge, see if you can do what our client did when she boiled down her project to one defining action that was easy to visualize.


It is likely that as you define the finished product, your confusion about your project will dissipate. Hopefully, you will get some clarity about what you need to do!


Next week, we’ll show you how to go backwards from this vision of the Finished Product, until you know what you need to do TODAY to move it forward. We call this Reverse Engineering a Goal.

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