December 17th, 2014
The holiday break is of course a great time to spend with family, to indulge a little and recharge the batteries. It is also a good time to take a few minutes and think about how 2014 worked out for you, and what you might want to achieve in 2015.
If you set some goals in 2014 how did you do against those goals? What could you do differently in 2015?
If you did not have goals then how do you feel about 2014? Was it everything that you could have wanted?
I used to think that setting goals was too much hassle and to be honest when I did not meet a goal (which was often) then I would be hard on myself. Why would I put myself through that guilt and hassle if I didn’t need to?
After a few years I realized that (a) I achieved more if I actually set out with goals; (b) I was able to reconcile myself that even if I missed a goal, it was better than not having had one in the first place!
“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” Zig Ziglar
If I look back at 2014 I missed some pretty big goals! I also hit some smaller goals, which I feel pretty good about. The missed goals I can learn from and in 2015 I will reframe those goals and achieve them!
I think it is important to have goals in multiple aspects of my life not just work goals, so I tend to have five broad categories in which I set goals for myself.
- Health and Fitness
“An average person with average talent, ambition and education, can outstrip the most brilliant genius in our society, if that person has clear, focused goals.” Brian Tracy
If you are new to goal setting then here is an easy way to get started:
- Pick a number of areas in your life to set goals. If you like my list then feels free to copy.
- Set one goal in each category.
- If you have BIG goals … e.g. want to be CEO of IBM, then pick a goal along that path. In this case you might want to sign up for an MBA program for instance.
- Keep the goal fairly simple to measure, and achievable. E.g. One of my failings has been a weight target. Heading into 2015 I will adjust that up to a more achievable level.
- Write them down. You could have a special GOALS journal, a piece of paper pinned to your desk, an electronic list on your PDA … whatever works for you.
- For each goal there should be a target and a date. Enter the appropriate dates into your calendar so that you have a reminder.
- Set up weekly or monthly checkpoints … you might weigh yourself each week, or if you are learning a language you could check off the classes as you attend.
- When you achieve your goal you can (a) pick a different goal altogether; or (b) Improve on that goal you just achieved. In my case when I hit my revised weight I will then target a lower weight, perhaps even my original goal … this might be the year!
- A goal is part of your motivation … but you need a plan to reach that goal. What will it take to become CEO of IBM? What will it take for me to lose weight?
- Reward yourself for meeting goals. Don’t overdo it but it is good to celebrate success when you tick off the goals!
“Life can be pulled by goals just as surely as it can be pushed by drives.” Viktor Frankl
Goals, together with a plan to reach those goals can transform your life! I don’t exaggerate here, because most people go through life on cruise control rather than driving their own destiny. Once you realise how much you can influence your life by actually taking charge you will understand the power of goal setting!
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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