If you waited until January to set your goals for the new year, you are already behind the power curve, but that doesn’t mean you should wait until next year, it means turn off the football game for an hour and get to work! If you want create fireworks in your life, keep reading. If you don’t, you will look back on this day and wish you had.
Few people enjoy goal setting, until they practice it for a while and experience the powerful results it brings. The fact is that goal setting is required if you intend to be successful. So let’s get down to it!
While setting goals is about setting course for the future, it is essential that you briefly look back to prepare for this exercise. If you set proper goals in the past, this will be much easier, but even if you didn’t, you need to spend a few minutes reviewing the past to determine where you were successful and where you could improve. First, recognize your successes, in all aspects of your life. Write each down and be grateful for them, whether it is to God, to those that helped you achieve, to yourself for the extra effort you exerted, or all of the above. Finally, I like to acknowledge the behaviors that led to the successes so you can continue those moving forward. Then, you must also revisit the areas where you achieved less than you wanted. It is very important that you don’t look at these as failures or allow them to bring you down. Instead try to objectively recognize the things you neglected to do or did poorly that affected the results. Again, record these valuable lessons.
For your new goals, use your recent results and carry over the goals that are still relevant and revisit those that need to be adjusted, hopefully to make them bigger. There are literally thousands of books, articles and blog posts on how to create effective goals. I prefer to not make goal setting a daunting task, so here are my recommendations.
First, make sure that your goals cover all aspects of your life. For example, I have goals for health, family, my job and my business.
Second, if you are new to setting goals in a particular area, I find it easier to set goals in shorter timeframes. Even now, I prefer to have quarterly as well as annual goals. The annual goal aims your mind at the target but the quarterly goals provide checkpoints to enjoy success or adjust course to ensure you stay on track.
Third, don’t underestimate your abilities. Setting easy goals you can achieve without getting outside your comfort zone is almost as bad as not having any at all. Again, if this is a new diet/relationship/job/business, at least set a goal and an additional stretch goal. Just be aware of the risk of allowing yourself to relax when you meet your initial target.
Fourth, make goals that are clear and measurable, so you can remain focused and have very objective criterial to determine your progress toward it. There is value in subjective goals too, such as strengthening my relationship with God, but I find they are more difficult because I spend more time thinking about what is required to get me there. So try to make them as quantifiable as possible.
That’s enough for one post, or you’ll get overwhelmed and not actually do it. Did I mention your goals MUST be written down? They must be on paper, preferably, at least the initial draft, in your own handwriting. Or else they aren’t real!
Best wishes for another awesome year!