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Goal Setting Exercise: Are You Fast Enough?

Here’s a goal setting exercise to get you thinking about the importance of timeliness in business planning.

One potential problem with goal setting is that you can spend too much time planning , and not enough time to make things happen. Conversely, it may be that you spend too little time in preparation and pay the penalty for hasty decisions.

Whether your issue is acting too soon, or too late, or too rarely, think about the importance of timing in your planning activities.

This goal setting exercise is part of our series on Business Goal Setting : Using the “F-Plan”. The series consists of a structured process designed to help you improve your business planning and goal setting.

Think about goal setting in terms of:

1 – Future: Company Goal Setting: Two Kinds of Future.
2 – Filter: Goal Setting in the Workplace: Filter to Make the Right Choices.
3 – Frame: Frame Your Goal Setting Plans.
4 – Focus: Goal Setting Strategies are Underpinned by Focus.
5 – Fast: Goal Setting Exercise – Are You Fast Enough?
6 – Faith: Goal Setting Facts Need Faith.


Goal setting exercise – why not just do it?

Goal Setting Exercise

Think about some of the goals you have set, if you were to start to implement them immediately what would be the risk of something going wrong, and what would be the likely impact.

Many of our goals actually don’t have significant down sides; they are worth putting in to action straight away. If there isn’t much of a downside, but there is lots of potential benefit, then you should think about acting faster.

Alongside moving to action sooner, a second goal setting exercise worth applying is to think of ways that you could achieve the goal faster than you initially might have thought was possible. Sometimes it is more valuable to start even when a plan isn’t perfectly formed and adapt and change as things emerge.


Goal setting exercise – keep it simple

Decide whether it is just worth starting on your goal – can you jump straight to action? However, to be genuinely fast, and thus responsive, requires preparation. It also requires timeliness and the ability to keep things simple. Complexity invariably means that being fast becomes difficult and even chaotic. Think about how you can set yourself up to be more responsive, how can you simplify what you do so that putting goals into action quickly becomes an easy goal setting exercise.

Fast doesn’t mean at all costs. It should be about ensuring that your new ideas, whether services or products, are brought to your customers when the opportunity is at its optimum. If the idea’s time has not yet come, then you need to be patient. Remember the fifth test of obviousness: is the time ripe?

To summarise our goal setting exercise to make sure that you do things fast enough you should:

  • Think about how you can put goals in to action faster, how can you simplify things so that you can move to action quickly?
  • Ask yourself if the timing is right; sometimes opportunities can be missed if you don’t move to action immediately. What opportunities can’t wait? Conversely, what goals need to be put on hold?

Fast is the mantra of the new business era, everything must be done quickly. How can we learn ways of delivering fast without being furious? To be genuinely fast, and thus responsive, requires preparation. It also requires timeliness and the ability to keep things simple. Complexity almost invariably means that trying to be fast can cause difficulties and even chaos.

Now turn to the last article in the F-Plan mini series: Goal Setting Facts Need Faith.


Make the most of your goal setting exercise!

Find our how in our e-guide: SMART Goals, SHARP Goals. The guide contains 30 pages and 5 tools to help you to set SMART goals, then take SHARP action to achieve them. It includes:

  • How do you define goal setting?
  • What features of goal setting are important, if we want to ensure they are more likely to be successfully achieved?
  • What kinds of goals are more likely to make us motivated to achieve them?
  • How do you set SMART goals?
  • Why do goals matter?
  • What kind of goals should you pursue to be happier in what you do?
  • How do you set team goals?
  • What strategies can you apply to overcome barriers to setting goals?
  • How do you develop SHARP plans of action that help you to achieve your goals?
  • What techniques can you use to get things done?
  • How do you set personal goals?


  • Tool 1: Conventional goal setting
  • Tool 2: Setting SMART goals that motivate
  • Tool 3: The kind of goals that will make you happier
  • Tool 4: Taking SHARP action
  • Tool 5: Team goals flowchart
  • Tool 6: Eight personal goal setting questions

Goal Setting Resources

You can find more of our goal setting resources by reading our featured pages (below).

Goal setting exercise

You’ll find our new e-guide: SMART Goals, SHARP Goals is a fantastic, goal setting resource. It’s packed with advice and tools – use it to help you set SMART goals then take SHARP actions to achieve them!

One of our affiliate partners also has an excellent, on-line, goal setting resource. GoalsOnTrack is a “personal success system that will help you really accomplish goals by getting the right things done”.



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