understanding goals

Dreams - Goals - Tasks


A dream is big, demanding and aspirational.  It is the why that provides the purpose behind activity. It is not something that you can directly do.

Projects needs a dream, a vision to inspire and a purpose to guide all activity.


Goals are the tangible outcome of actions, on a journey to achieving a dream. A goal should be framed in terms of achievement and outcome, rather than actions that need performing. It is the result not an action.

Setting goals is critical to delivery of projects. A goal communicates the destination & benefit and not the specific steps required to achieve the goal. Goals should be demanding enough to challenge & stretch, more than slack – offering no challenge, and without being too extreme & straining. (Slack – Stretch – Strain)

Goals are empowering, they leave autonomy in the route chosen to achieving them. They are the building blocks of project management and successful delivery.

Focus all of your attention on understand the right goals, when you are planning.


Tasks are smaller steps, the actions and the activities that get you to a goal.

Tasks are what you do, work itself and should get all of the attention during execution.


1 Comment »

  1. Dan said

    If you’d like a tool for setting your goals, you can use this web application:


    You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, schedules and a calendar.
    A Vision Wall (inspiring images attached to your goals) is available too.
    Works also on mobile, and syncs with Evernote.

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