Details make all the difference

Recently a friend of mine, Jenny, who writes over at The Button Jar, gave me a gorgeous Leuchtturm 1917 notebook. An object of beauty (to those of us who love stationery), even its packaging is inspiring with the paper band reading ‘details make all the difference’.

I believe that details do indeed make all the difference. One area in which this applies is that of achieving our goals. Working out the details can help us turn a commitment into a goal.

So what’s the difference between commitments and goals? For me, a commitment is a general declaration of a change we want to create in our work or our lives, such as:

I am committed to creating a team which is efficient and happy: a team people really want to join.

I am committed to spending more time with my family.

I am committed to my professional development.

I am committed to making 2012 the year in which I become fit and healthy.

These are all laudable commitments but what do they actually mean? How will we know when they have been achieved? What will we do to get there?

The details are the ingredients of the goals which will help us achieve our commitments and to notice that we’ve done so. Let’s take the first commitment shown above as an example: I am committed to creating a team which is efficient and happy: a team people really want to join. The details to be explored might include:

  • What are the components of this great team?
  • Who are its members?
  • What is the vision for the team?
  • How will you know it’s running efficiently?
  • How will you raise the profile of this great team so that other people know all about it?
  •  How will you obtain feedback on the team and its performance?

Looking at the ‘fit and healthy’ example, we can see that we need to know what that means to know whether it’s been achieved. Are we talking about being able to run a marathon or to swim 25 lengths? Are we talking about cutting back on how often we eat out each week or losing 10 kg? Is the plan to walk to work three days a week or to plan the week in such a way that Sunday afternoons become a time of rest rather than a mad dash to get everything sorted for the week ahead?

Details turn an inspiring idea into an achievable action plan.

Today’s pebble for your thoughts: what details will make all the difference   to your commitments?

What do you think?


Turning over pebbles is the blog of Thinking Space Coaching. 

If you’d like to make progress in your work and life, why not email me to see how we can work together?

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2 Responses to Details make all the difference

  1. Jenny Dee says:

    Moleskine notebooks have gone one better with all that detail. I’ve just bought the Wellness Journal to help me with my goal of losing 10lbs before Christmas. ( It comes sealed, so I was aware from the description that it had pages to record diet and exercise but I was amazed when I opened it to find guides to seasonal vegetables (northern and southern hemispheres!) It works for me, I’m pleased to report I’m on track with my diet.

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