By JoAnne Foist
Don’t you just love the New Year? It’s a fresh start with endless possibilities…the time of year when we set our expectations high for the coming year. Which is why so many people make New Year’s resolutions. You might be thinking, “Yeah… but only 8% of people are successful in achieving their New Year’s resolutions.”
Sadly, that’s true. Yet this year you can be in the top 8%! When you combine your resolutions with tried-and-true goal setting techniques you’ll be among the successful few who stay resolved and achieve their goals. It’s a fact that if you set goals and make deliberate resolutions, you are 10 TIMES MORE LIKELY TO ACHIEVE THE SUCCESS YOU DESIRE!!!
What’s the difference between goals and resolutions? A goal is a marker of success; a destination that you reach that indicates you have accomplished what you set out to do. A resolution is a commitment to behave in a certain way in order to achieve your goals. A popular goal after the holidays is, “To lose 20 lbs.” A popular resolution is, “To go to the gym 3-5 days a week…in order to lose the 20 lbs. As you can see they work well hand-in-hand, however many people (apparently 92 percent of them) forget that and they neglect to do one or the other.
Well conceived goals create your plan for success. They keep you focused on what’s important, help you prioritize, help you make better decisions, allow you to become more effective, and they motivate you.
Achieving your goals feels great! It’s a matter of writing them down and making a plan for success and there are proven tips for making sure they work! First, keep the number of goals to 5 or less so you can focus on what’s most important to you. You don’t want to get overwhelmed by tackling too many…achieving one meaningful goal is better than starting several and not accomplishing any of them.
The process is easier than you think when you follow the GOAL SETTING STEPS below:
- Your Vision – Think about what you want in life. What would your ideal life look like? Write it out so you can visualize this. This big picture view can be broad such as “I want to be healthy,” or “I want to be successful.”
- Make each goal statement in the present tense – This helps you mentally picture the achievement of your goal and reinforces it in your subconscious
- Break it Down – This is where you create your SMART goals to support your vision. “SMART” is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. SMART goals are your action plans for achievement.
- Specific – Who, what, where, when, why of the goal. This is key, because it sets up a plan. For instance, instead of “I will exercise more,” write, “I will go to the gym on Mon, Wed and Fridays right after work.” Or, instead of “I will spend less time on social media,” write “I will limit my time on social media to 10 minutes a day and review it right before I go to lunch.”
- Measurable – How will you track your goal?
- Attainable – Stretch, but be realistic on what you can accomplish.
- Relevant – Does this fit into your vision (the big picture)?
- Time-Bound – Have a due date with intermediate progress dates.
- Create activities to support the goal – These are all the steps you need to take to achieve your goal.
- Track your progress – Track along the way to see how you’re doing. This could be daily, weekly or monthly depending on the goal. Daily is usually the best with weekly or monthly evaluations. But do what works for you.
- Create a simple Resolution or Mantra that will keep your goals in focus throughout the year. Your resolution should be meaningful yet, easy to remember. Your mantra should encapsulate the essence of your personal vision and goals and excite you to put in the effort to achieve your goals for the year.
Goal Example: Relating to Health
- Vision – Optimal health
- Goal Statement – I train for and run 10k races.
- Goal Breakdown:
- Specific – I will successfully complete my city’s 10k race on April 2015.
- Measurable – Weekly mileage goals and ultimately finishing the 10k or not.
- Attainable – Based on my current health and the length of time to build up to this, this is an attainable goal.
- Relevant – This goal fits in my vision of being healthier and building my endurance. This goal is motivating to me. The reward of crossing the finishing line and getting my medal is motivating to me.
- Time-Bound – I will have completed this goal on April 2015.
- Incremental activities to support the goal – Buy running shoes by x date, create a training plan by x date, signup for the race by x date, start training on x date and follow the training plan daily. I will make running a priority by getting up early and running before going to work.
- Track your progress – I will follow the plan daily and do weekly evaluations of my progress.
- Annual Resolution/Mantra – Healthy and strong!
Goal Example: Relating to Career
- Vision – A promotable leader
- Goal Statement – To be the next Director of Marketing.
- Goal Breakdown:
- Specific: I will be promoted this year to a Director of Marketing position.
- Measurable: Landing the position or not.
- Attainable: Based on my current position, my past accomplishments and the upcoming opening of this job I believe this is attainable.
- Relevant: This goal fits in my vision of being successful. This goal is motivating to me.
- Time-Bound: I will have completed this goal by the end of the year.
- Incremental activities to support the goal – I will take on high profile projects, such as xyz, I will get assessments from my colleagues regarding my strengths and opportunities by x date, I will take a professional development course to work on my communication skills by x date, I will write and submit my application and plan for the Director position by x date.
- Track your progress – I will follow the plan as set and review weekly to see how I am progressing. I will make adjustments based on feedback received.
- Annual Resolution/Mantra – Racing to the Top!
You get the idea? Then get started! You’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish. Let 2015 be your best year yet. Need help? We have expert coaches who can help you achieve incredible breakthroughs. Contact us to learn more.
And, if one of your goals includes self-development, we invite you to attend Powerful Presence, our 3-Day Intensive Workshop. Check it out…It’s really a life-changing event.
Here’s to your success in the New Year!