Milestones for Goals
Milestones are important tools for achieving your goals in life. In simple terms, a milestone is a stone after each mile. Call it Milestones, Landmarks, or Checkpoints; these markers help you to understand how far you've gone and how much longer you have to go to arrive at your final destination. When setting goals, it is of great value to outline milestones, aka checkpoints, to help gauge your progress. Here's a story that shares a bit on how milestones could help you reach your goals.
A 12-year-old boy named Osagie was sent on an errand from a little village (Udaken) in Africa to the neighboring town.
Osagie's Mom: My dear son, we have run out of the leaf for your father's favorite soup. Go to Orah, the next village, and tell your Father's sister to borrow me some so I can make her brother's favorite soup for his visitors this evening.
Osagie: Yes, mother, I will get my things and go right away.
The boy obliged, took his hand-made leather bag, hopped on his bicycle and started to bid his mother farewell. He had visited Orah with his father and mother quite frequently and had even shown his uncle who came from Lagos the way a few times, but Osagie had never ventured alone. For this reason, his mother gave him some specific information to aid his lonesome journey.
Sidebar: In some cases in life, our goals are not ours. If you work for an employer rather than yourself, your daily tasks are often actions taken to achieve objectives for the common good of your employer; you're being sent on an errand daily. Before you were assigned those tasks, you were hopefully provided the opportunity to shadow someone who had made the trip before. Maybe the concept of see-one, do-one, teach-one was used to help you hardwire the tasks. Nonetheless, assigned goals are goals to be achieved.
Osagie's Mother: My son, remember, to get to Orah from our town here in Udaken you have to cross the old carpenter's bridge, not the new one. If you ride as fast as you do with your friends here in town, it should take you 5 Ulele songs to get there.
Sidebar: Reference points are great tools when creating milestones. A standard measure is likely your best option, but in the absence of one, a comparative approach could work. In this situation, Osagie's mother had to use a comparative approach in the absence of a wristwatch. Set your landmarks to be measured using standard measures or comparative measures based on existing reference points.
Osagie: Yes, mother, I know. When uncle Osaro and I went, it took us six songs because he wasn't too comfortable riding my Father's bicycle. Going alone, I should get there in 5 songs.
Sidebar: Osagie had an assumed time. He presumed how long it'd take him to get to his first milestones. You should have some idea of how long it should take you to get to your first and other milestone/checkpoints/landmarks.
Osagie's Mother: Good. After the bridge, you will ride to the greenhouse almost to the end of the trail and make a left just before the greenhouse. Don't forget that there are some local barking dogs there so don't stay to drink water there, wait to drink water when you pass the Isoke shrine which is 4 Ulele songs after your left turn at the greenhouse. From there you should know your way because you will already be in Orah. Your aunt should be at home; if she's not there, her shop is just on the other side of the road. My son, please don't stay too long, your father will be home soon, and I want to prepare the meal before he returns.
Osagie: Yes, mother. I will be back shortly.
Sidebar: Here came the full description. The use of the greenhouse, the instructions on when to take a break, the alternative to finding his aunt, these are all important instructions needed when going on a journey. So also are such milestones needed when measuring goals. You should have an idea of what may come your way as you journey and how to handle those situations (such as barking dogs in our story above).
Detail your milestones as best as you can to achieve your goals. Be prepared, count your cost before your journey, and get to work ASAP.