You have probably heard about the importance of writing down goals and making them specific.  It is good advice.  

I recently read an article by Dr. Phil that took the goal-setting process one step further.  “The difference between a dream and a goal is a timeline,” he wrote.  “The deadline you’ve created fosters a sense of urgency or purpose, which in turn will serve as an important motivator, and prevent inertia or procrastination.”

How often have you thought about doing something “someday?”  You may even have a written bucket list, but unless there is a timeline for accomplishing those dreams they will remain nebulous and likely undone.

At work, be skeptical of those who share plans, but without a timeline attached.  It makes for an easy way to weasel out of accountability or to provide excuses.  

A deadline is different than a timeline.  A deadline implies that the task will be finished by the set date, whereas a timeline is a suggested path for implementation.  

The publisher of the daily paper doesn’t dream about getting today’s edition out on time; she has a deadline to do so.  Think of yourself as your publisher and set a firm deadline to get your dream out the door.  

— beth triplett

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