CalWORKs 2.0 In The News
Business Sense: Goal, plan, do
By Connie Lorenzo
Social Services, for whom I work, is engaging in a new process to further help folks we serve back to work. It isn’t necessarily revolutionary, but the results may be revelatory for folks who have not used the simple power of intention and goal setting.
Most of us try this each year at New Year’s setting goals for the coming year. What we fail to do too often is develop actionable plans breaking our goals down to simple steps. Even more unlikely do we review and revise as we go. At Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services, Social Services, we have been working on tools to help individuals with this process — goal, plan, do, review and revise.
Setting and achieving goals is not easy. But, by following the process outlined here, chances of success are greatly increased. We aim to assist folks with setting goals to remove barriers in their lives that may make getting to work difficult, as well as assisting with obtaining and holding a job. Barriers may include things like securing reliable childcare; or saving up to buy a vehicle to get to and from work. Preparing for work can include vocational training or a temporary job to gain new skills, confidence and to develop additional references and experience. The key will be helping individuals focus on small, attainable goals and to keep on track.
All goals can be broken down into smaller, easily attainable steps — this is the secret to continued progress and success:
1. Set a goal — something you want to accomplish. Ensure the goal is:
- Something you truly care about;
- Challenging, but within your reach: Write it down. Your chance of being successful increases. Imagine what it will feel like if you accomplish the goal.
2. Develop a plan to get there. Characteristics of a good plan are:
- Specific, with the steps and resources you will need to complete it;
- Anticipate obstacles and have solutions ready to avoid any potholes along your path. Again, write it down.
3. Do it — follow your plan and stick with it until it is done:
- Ask for help — we all need a helping hand at times:
- When you feel yourself slipping, again think about what the goal means to you and what it will feel like to succeed.
4. Review and assess your progress. Did something get in your way and take you off track? What steps still remain?
5. Revise as necessary. Everyone, if they are honest, completes a goal without interruption or small failures along the way. Taking time to evaluate what has worked and what may need adjusting is the most critical step to completing a goal. It is in this process we learn how to succeed. We get to know ourselves — our limits and our strengths. We learn how to create the right mix of resources, support, stress management, and organization to meet our goals. So review and revise frequently.
This may sound like a lot at first pass, but if you practice this you will actually begin to enjoy this process. It is when you make it your own and where we grow into the goal. Before you know it you are there and anxious to set the next goal. So goal, plan, do!
Connie Lorenzo is the employment training program manager for the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services’ Social Services division and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.