Life Design Journaling Framework: Objectives

What Are Objectives

The part of your life design plan that you will start executing starts with your objectives.

Where goals are the high-level broad statements about outcomes you want to have in your life, objectives are the major steps you are taking towards the goals. Objectives will be further broken down into tactics or actions. Actions are basically your to-do list. Actions should be singles tasks that can be accomplished in a short period of time.

The specific tasks to achieve an objective are known. If you don’t know the specific steps required either take the time to figure out those steps or break up the objective, one objective to research to make a plan, and the next objective to carry out the steps of that plan.

Creating Objectives

When creating your objectives make sure you have control in reaching the objective. If your objective has a component that is out of your control you need to refine your objective to remove that component. As an example, if your objective is to lose 10 pounds, it would be better to have the objective changed to specify what you are going to eat, or how much exercise. You can use the weight as a metric to help determine how much exercise or whether changes are required on your diet.

There is a great comparison between goals and objectives from the diffen.com site.

ItemGoalObjective
Plan:Broad planNarrow plan
Action:Generic actionSpecific action
Example:I want to achieve success in the field of genetic research and do what no one has ever done.I want to complete this thesis on genetic research by the end of this month.
Measure:Goals may not be strictly measurable or tangible.Must be measurable and tangible.
Time frame:Longer-termShort to medium term
Meaning:The purpose toward which an endeavor is directed.Something that one’s efforts or actions are intended to attain or accomplish; purpose; target.
Principle:Based on ideasBased on fact

Objectives are the big pieces required to reach your goal. Don’t worry if you don’t know all the objectives required to reach your goal. As you achieve each objective it will become clearer what additional objectives are required.

Objectives follow the S.M.A.R.T. paradigm

  • S-Specific  The objective is one part of the overall goal the objective is for.
  • M-Measurable  The objective is measurable so that you know exactly when you have achieved it
  • A-Achievable  The objective is within your power to achieve
  • R-Relevant  The objective is relevant to the overall goal and the goal is relevant to your vision and purpose
  • T-Timely  The objective can be completed in a reasonable time frame.

Objective Questions

  1. What are the big components that you need in place to get you closer to your goal?
  2. What specific steps can you take towards each of your goals?
  3. Who has achieved one of your goals? What objectives did they achieve you reach the goal?
  4. What piece of step can you put in place so that it will become clear what you need to achieve to reach your goal?

Personal Experience

When I first learned about goals and objectives in the corporate world as a business analyst, they were immediately applicable to goals I was creating in my personal life.

Having the separation allowed me to dream big with my goals, and then create specific actionable objectives for those goals. As the objectives followed the S.M.A.R.T. paradigm, I could work towards the goal and know the progress I was making. This provided me with much more clarity in both the goals I was creating as well as the progress I was making towards the goals.

Building Your Objectives – Action Steps

ActionStep Description
Start a journalStart a journal if you don’t already have one.
Document your objectivesCreate a section specifically for your objectives. This will allow you to regularly review your objectives and the progress you are making. When journaling your objectives, tie them back to the goal the objective is for.
Document experiences of your objectivesCreate a section where you can document experiences related to your objectives. Journal how well you are achieving the objective, any obstacles to the objective. Also document how you are feeling as you achieve the objective, or how you are feeling during any setbacks.
Document reflections of your objectivesCreate a section where you document reflections and insights you have about your objectives. Journal how the objective is helping to fulfill the goal and if there are any additional objectives required for the goal.
Review regularlyReview your journal regularly. Ideally, you would review your journal as part of your morning or evening routine. This is an integral part of daily improvement.