Setting Goals For The New Year
How many times have you looked at your business or personal life and thought “Where am I going with this?” “What is the aim of this?” “what do I want to achieve?”
If these are questions that you are asking yourself, it sounds like you do not have a clear goal in place – and you should! Setting goals does not have to be difficult or stressful. Having a clear goal in place helps to keep you centred, focused and positive.
When setting goals, there are 5 golden rules to follow to ensure that you make the most out of your goal and it is set up to help you succeed. There is no point setting your goal unrealistic and then feeling down and depressed about not achieving it.
The first step is to set goals that motivate you. Your goals are going to be more achievable if they are something that interests and motivates you. Make a list of the goals you would like to achieve and then sit down and look through your list. Choose the ones that are the highest priority and that will make the biggest impact on your life. These are the ones that need to be focused on first.
The second step is to make sure when setting your goals you ensure that they are ‘SMART’ goals.
SPECIFIC – You need to make sure that your goals are clear and specific. If they aren’t then you will struggle to achieve them because you will be unfocused and not entirely sure on how to achieve them. When working out your goals, focus on the 5 W’s;
What do I want to accomplish?
Why is this goal important?
Who is involved?
Where is it located?
Which resources or limits are involved?
MEASUREABLE – There is not much point in setting a goal if you can not track how you are going with it or whether you have achieved it. Making sure your goals are measurable gives you an insight into how it is going, what you may need to change and whether you are tracking to achieve it in the allocated time. When setting your goal asking yourself questions such as; How many, how much and how will I track that I have achieved it will help in determining the measurable aspect.
ATTAINABLE – Do not set a goal of earning $1 million dollars in a week. We all know that is not attainable and all you will feel at the end of the week is disappointment.
When setting your goals make sure that they are goals that you know can be achieved (with a bit of work of course)
Your goals are there to push you to succeed so attainable may mean having to work a bit harder or put extra resources into the goal however they would still be realistic and attainable.
Think about what you will need to achieve the goal, what restraints there may be, financial for example and what you will need to achieve it.
RELEVANT – your goal needs to be relevant to YOU and to YOUR cause. When setting your goals you need to make sure that they align with you and your focus. There may be times through out your process that you need to have the help of others to achieve your goal, during these times you need to make sure everyone who is across it understands the relevance of the goal and the impact that it will have in the long term.
A relevant goal will answer yes to these types of questions
Does this seem worthwhile?
Is this the right time?
Does this match our other efforts/needs?
Am I the right person to reach this goal?
Is it applicable in the current socio-economic environment?
TIME-BOUND – When setting your goal don’t just set an end date. The end date is important as this is the date that you want the overall goal to be achieved by however you need to focus on the time in between starting and finishing as well.
Look at your goal and break it up. Work out what you can complete in the first few weeks, few months and what the finished goal will look like and when.
When setting the dates for your goal be kind to yourself and realistic. Life does get in the way sometimes and things do not always go to plan, so ensuring that you are giving yourself enough time – without setting it too long and letting yourself get lazy is important. Re-assess your time line every few weeks to check that you are on track and update dates if needed.
Thirdly put your goals in writing. Once it is out on paper, or on a computer screen it becomes a lot more real. Most people feel more accountable for their goals if they can see them and others can see them.
Using a white board with a timeline and details on it is a great motivator as you can see it each time you walk into your office and you can track the progress. Vision boards can also be a great help to motivate and make it all real.
The forth step is to put the plans in action. It is all well and good to write out a goal and say it will be done by this date, but where is the planning? What plans do you have in place to actually make it happen?
Don’t be afraid to write a few lists to help you along the way. Write out the plans that you need to do in order to achieve the goals.
Put together a list of the resources and contacts that you may need along the way.
The planning stage is the most important stage and if this is not executed right then you will struggle to achieve your goal.
Lastly – STICK WITH IT.
As the old saying goes; Rome wasn’t built in a day.
It takes time, effort, strength and motivation to achieve your goals and it will not happen overnight.
Refer back to your goal regularly and update or change bits of it if needed.
Most importantly make sure that you are looking at what you HAVE achieved towards it instead of looking at how far away it still is.
Your determination and motivation will get you to where you want to be – It is only a matter of time.