It took me a while to understand the power of goals and the need to have them in my life. I expect that the reasons I resisted were similar the reasons most people resist:
Goal setting seems like an academic exercise:
I wasn’t sure how to start:
I wasn’t sure how to set realistic goals;
It all feel like work, maybe I would do it tomorrow!
I’m sure you have heard all of the good reasons why you should have goals …
If you don’t know where you are going, how will you know when you get there;
Goals help to focus your efforts;
Goals are like a road map for life, they guide you in your decisions.
Well hopefully I can help you to get started, and to commit to giving it a try.
This is a great time of year for goal setting. Those people who set goals last year can develop a score card, and understand what they achieved and where they fell short. This will feed into their goals for the new year.
All good stuff … but goals are for other people, right?
Wrong … if you really want to take charge of your life then goals are for you! Why should you do it now, when you have procrastinated every year until now? Because I am going to make it easy for you … and if you try it you will see results! The following are the steps I took to get started …
Step 1. I developed categories hat worked for me …
Health and Fitness
Step 2. I set at least one goal for each category, several goals in some categories. Here are some examples …
Under health and fitness you might want to lose 5lb by March next year; you might want to add weights into your workout routine at least twice a week; you might plan to reduce coffee consumption to 2 per day. Etc.
Under Vacation you should really give some thought about where you would like to go this year. It could be to enjoy the cottage at least 12 weekends, or plan a weekend getaway without the kids; or take a 2 week vacation somewhere exotic etc.
Under Career you might set a goal of mastering certain aspects of your current role by the Fall; having a career planning meeting with your boss or HR; or developing a training plan to advance your career.
The goals that you pick need to be achievable and within your control. This way you will see progress and as you do progress you can always add more goals or increase the “intensity”.
Step 3. Plan into your calendar a monthly review. At that review you will check your progress against each goal and will create action items to address them … which will go onto your “to do” list (of course you have a “to do” list!).
This is a very basic, easily managed approach to goal setting. You can obviously get much more complicated and sophisticated but this works and the most important thing is to start somewhere.
Try it … this time next year you can be sitting and reviewing how you did in all of those categories and planning for next year! Good luck!