You don’t want to face the effort of making a plan that you feel you can’t control or that has little chance of success.
I used to think that way too.
Once I had my mind changed for me, what I found was that (a) it really doesn’t need to be a complicated process; and (b) as strange as this sounds, it doesn’t matter whether you meet your goals or not! It is the process of setting them up and developing a plan, which you execute against, that will actually make a difference.
“People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.” Earl Nightingale
Yes things change, and so will your goals and your plans. BUT by having a plan you will be taking action towards success. Focus on the things you CAN control.
The following is a 3-step process that I use, which could help you to get started in setting some goals that would help you make the most of the upcoming year.
Step 1. Decide what is important to you. I have a few categories that I use ..
“You must have long term goals to keep you from being frustrated by short term failures.” Charles C. Noble
- Health and Fitness
- Relationships (personal and professional)
Step 2. Take into account your experiences this last year related to your categories. Then set at least ONE goal in each category. It is most important that you see some success so don’t be tempted to have too many goals, but if you think you can manage it then set more than one goal. Here are some examples …
Under health and fitness you might want to lose 5lb by March; 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.
“Goals in writing are dreams with deadlines.” Brian Tracy
Under Hobbies/Vacation/Pastimes you might want to give some thought about where you would like to vacation 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 (assuming travel is happening) 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 one step – choosing a goal and sticking to it – changes everything.” Scott Reed
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.
There are lots of resources out there to help you set some goals … here is one about Writing Down Your Goals.
Try it … this time next year you can be sitting and reviewing how you did in all of those categories and planning to go to the next level for the following year!
Kevin Dee is founder of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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