“Don’t make resolutions without an action plan. The secret to success is right in your hands.” –J. Allen Shaw
Goal-setting can be made easier when you begin with the end in mind. Follow this 6-step process and you’ll find yourself celebrating your achievements as you ring in the New Year:
1, Know Your Values
Take the time to identify your values – then you will have a solid basis around which you can set your goals and orient your life. Genuine values are those interests, strengths, and qualities which have always intrigued you or to which you’ve always been attracted. If you are having trouble with this one, look at the compliments you’ve received lately, they probably represent some of your strengths and values.
2, Define 5-7 Goals
And be specific! What are the top 5-7 goals that you would like to devote the next year of your life to accomplish? Set your goals so they are just out of your immediate reach (to make it interesting, challenging and fun), but not so far away that there is no hope of achieving them, (we don’t put serious effort into achieving a goal that we believe is unachievable!)
Carefully word your goals: Writing, “I won’t be in the same place I am now next year” is more of a statement of frustration than a goal – a goal would be “In 1 year I will be operating my business at 20% profit.” Beware of negativism here, also: “No stupid mistakes” might be better phrased as “I will carefully plan and execute my marketing strategy”. Remember: Your goals must be consistent with your values.
3. Challenge Yourself
To make certain the goals you’ve selected are really your own, confirm your motivation. For each of your goals, ask yourself: What are the personal/professional benefits to me of accomplishing
- What can block my progress?
- What new skills do I need to develop to achieve this?
- What additional information do I need?
- What help, assistance, or collaboration do I need?
4. Action Plan
Break each of your goals into smaller steps, (an action plan), including steps for whatever additional education, assistance, or information gathering required to achieve the goal. Work backward. To accomplish your goals, what measurable action steps must you accomplish each quarter and then each week until you are at the present time.
5. Get Help!
Ask for help from everyone you trust, respect, and admire in helping you reach your goals – including working with a Coach. Let people know that their support is very welcome, but if they can’t support you, to keep it to themselves. This is a real lesson in teaching others how to treat you: give yourself permission to get what you need to reach your goals. This also sets you up in an environment of pure motivation and support – instead of you having to push or motivate yourself. Motivation through osmosis is more effective, healthier, and effortless!
6. Commit to Yourself
Write each goal, and each action step, on your calendar. If you find yourself procrastinating, take another look at the questions above – usually, the only one keeping you from reaching your goals is you. What’s keeping you stuck? Get to the root of your procrastination and shift your behavior from a procrastinator to being personally accountable.
Don’t Give Up!
Many goals fall by the wayside because we expect too much, too soon. Be patient and realistic with yourself and remain focused on your target. The goal-setting process allows you to accurately identify what you really want and how to get it and working towards your goals allows you to learn, shift, stretch and grow so you can live a life you love.
People who set goals for themselves not only suffer less stress, they make better decisions, they are more organized, they have greater self-confidence, they feel more fulfilled, and they are more enthusiastic. With a little focus, a lot of work, and strong support, you can choose to achieve your resolutions. Success is yours, go get it!