Moving on from creating a vision or mission statement, what about a goal? What is one, and where does it fit in the land of planning things? Whilst we are not talking about football, it might be good to imagine the idea of putting the ball in the net, as this is something of an achievement, a win, a gain that might lead you on your way to victory.
A goal is something you are aiming for, like climbing up to the top of the hill – your goal being to get to the top. To create a broad goal you don’t need to specify how and when you do this, why you are doing it, or what you will do when you get there. But you do need to say what it is you want.
Goals might be somewhere you want to go, something that you want to have, or something that you want to do. They are the milestones that you reach as you go on your journey to complete your project, move your organisation forward to realise its vision, or for your own personal development. They tend to be fairly broad and you might have several at once. They can be broken down into as small or large a chunk as necessary.
Goals are set in line with your vision. Once you have set them (something that can take a while in itself) they then need to be monitored and evaluated so that you can see how you are progressing. They can be modified along the way so that they do actually move you closer to what you want to achieve. While it is often easy to set large, fabulous sounding goals, remember that these are steps to achieving what you want, and if the steps are so big you can’t climb them then there isn’t much point in putting them there.
Once you have achieved your goals, you will be closer to achieving your vision. You will probably need to set more goals each time you meet the first goals to take you even further along, depending on what your desired end state is and how far you are away from achieving this.
So let’s imagine that your vision is: to be the go to place for cycling information in the city.
Your mission might be: to be able to provide accurate and up to date information on cycling routes, events and training to cyclists in the city of Bristol
Your goals, ie your steps to achieving your vision are:
- To build a database of all the cycling routes in the city
- To create a website to advertise jobs and events that are cycling related
- To advertise the service amongst the cycling community so that everyone is aware of this service
These are fairly large and unfocused as they stand, but they give you the structure for where you need to go to get to what you want. In order to make these more specific, you will need to set some objectives, which we will delve into more next time.