System/Advice for LT Goals Yet Allow for Unplanned Opportunities


With the new year approaching, I am working on my 2010 goals and priorities. In the past I used Franklin Planners and Outlook. I also have a Blackberry. I continuously look for ways to help me stay on task with my LT goals but still take advantage of unexpected opportunities.

For 2009, out of frustration and a need for more flexibility and visuals, I devised my own system. For big picture long range goals, I use mind maps (present tense phrases linked around say business, health , etc of where I want to be) and a vision board of what I will focus on (pictures and phrases of what I want) that I review daily. Then in the back of a notebook I write my one year goals. In the front of the notebook I write this month’s goals/tasks and this week’s goals/tasks. Then daily I create to do lists at the end of the day or sometimes in the morning. I review and reprioritize my weekly goals every Saturday and my monthly goals at the end of the month keeping in mind my annual goals and the current situation. I have a monthly view calendar for appointments, etc.

What type of time management or other system do you use to stay focused on long range goals but still allow for the flexibility of unplanned opportunities? Do you have special tips and advice that you find of great value for you?

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asked Dec 8 '09 at 05:03
Starr Ed
948 points
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2 Answers


I tend to dislike anything that will take too much time, as I am very spontaneous, so I know where I want to go (LT goals and short-term goals that will help me with the LT). Then, when I have a new opportunity, I ask myself if this will help me with achieve my goals.

If it won't help, then I need to evaluate if it is a good option, if I am willing to change my goals, or add new short-term goals that take the change into effect.

That way I continue toward my goal, with no tracking, as, if it won't help me, and I am not willing to adapt for it, then I just ignore it.

answered Dec 8 '09 at 05:19
James Black
2,642 points


We use quarterly goals to adjust our long term goals and then set priorities each week. Each year, we set goals that align to our long term strategic vision.

You do need to know what your 2-3 year goals are but those should be more strategic and more general. Some of ours include:

  • Revenue of $M/year in 3 years
  • Net profit of 10% in 3 years
  • Develop and deploy 2 new products by year 3.

So, it's important to have a strategic plan but to constantly adjust does not make much sense. We find that quarterly goals are about the right amount of time for things to sort themselves out and see a trend.

answered Dec 8 '09 at 06:39
Jarie Bolander
11,421 points
  • Thank you for the advice. – Starr Ed 14 years ago

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