Friends and colleagues,
Happy New Year! It is now January 2017, which is a terrific time to set goals for the year ahead. (Please post up your goal-setting tips in the comments section below.)
First, let me say that I prefer the concept of goals over resolutions. Resolutions seem like more of a wish or promise, whereas goals have a definite purpose that can be backed up with plans. If you prefer the term resolutions, great. In either case, make sure you write down your goals or resolutions this week, and then review them at least weekly in 2017. Reviewing your goals daily is even better, if possible.
Goals are a great way to distill your hopes and dreams into a few concrete focal points for 2017. I find it helpful to put goals into categories or values, which can then be prioritized. I also believe that "less is more" when it comes to goal setting. If you have just 3 goals for 2017 and achieve them, that is much better than having 25 goals and achieving none of them. Less is more.
Below is my quick goal setting process, which you are welcome to utilize or edit to suit your needs:
- Write down your values. What is most important to you in life? Family, health, faith, career, community, friends, education, etc.? Write down somewhere between 3 to 10 values. Again, less is more.
- Prioritize your values. Based on the values you wrote down in step #1 above, prioritize them. Which value is the top priority for you? #2? And so on. Then, as you make decisions in your daily life, make sure a lower priority never eclipses a higher priority. For example, if family is a higher priority than friends, then maybe you should not be hanging out with X, Y, Z friend all of the time, but should be spending that time with your family. Of course, you do need to see friends too. Just make sure the balance leans toward the priorities in your life.
- Write down 1 to 2 goals for each value. Based on your prioritized values in step #2 above, write down 1 to 2 goals for each value for 2017. Goals should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Agreed upon, Realistic and Time-based.
- Develop brief action plans to achieve each goal. Writing down goals in step #3 above is great and will likely give you some good results. However, you'll get much better results if you write down a brief action plan for each goal. Write down what steps will you need to take to achieve each goal?
- Take one step toward each goal today! It can be a small step. But just take a step on each of your goals today or tomorrow at the latest. Get momentum going. Step by step will get you to your goal!
- Review your goals at least weekly. Make time to review your goals weekly. Ideally, write down your goals on paper again weekly. This really helps cement your goals into your subconscious mind. If you can review your goals daily, even better.
- Allow your goals to evolve over the course of the year. You'll achieve goals as the year progresses, which then may naturally create some new goals for you. Or, you'll pivot away from some goals that you thought were important early in the year that aren't so important after all. Don't worry about your goals changing. This is normal. Often, when doing your weekly review in step #6 above, you'll notice your goals are evolving.
- Find a Goal Buddy. It is a very good idea to find someone you can share your goals with and who can help keep you accountable. Ideally they'll have goals they can share with you too. I have seen many friends lose weight based on doing it together with others, for example.
These are my quick thoughts on goal setting. It is not rocket science to set and achieve goals, but it does take discipline. Writing down your goals and reviewing them at least weekly is a key to success. What advice am I missing? Please post up your goal setting tips in the comments section below - thanks!
Below are a few resources to fuel your goal setting and habit setting:
- The book Goals!: How to Get Everything You Want -- Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible by Brian Tracy is the goal setting 101 book that you should read and implement its advice. You can pick up the book here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1605094110/
- An incredible book for setting and implementing goals for a team at work is The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goalsby Chris McChesney. Pick this book up here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/145162705X/
- Way of Life is an incredible App for your phone to help track your daily habits! I just started using this App recently and it has been very helpful. You give yourself green check marks when you do a habit, and red X's when you don't. It sounds simple, which it is, and it works! Check it out here: http://wayoflifeapp.com/
I hope this post has been helpful for you? Please share this post with your network. Also, please post up in the comments below any goal setting books or Apps or tips that you utilize? Thanks! And Happy New Year!