The beginning of the year has always been a time for looking back to the past, and more importantly, forward to the coming year. It's a time to reflect on the changes we want (or need) to make and resolve to follow through on those changes.
Oftentimes when we make new year's resolutions on December 31, they are forgotten by January 2! Goals, on the other hand, if written correctly, are revisited and attained!
- Set Limits - National success coach, Brian Buffini, once noted that Americans significantly underestimate what they can do in a year and drastically overestimate what they can do in a week. Be realistic about what you can accomplish. As you create your goals, do not set expectations that they would all be accomplished at the same time. Every person, regardless of intelligence, age or education can only process a few changes at a time (if the changes are to be lasting.) Define no more than 5 major goals for the year.
- Make your goals vibrant - living - hold real meaning and you will attain them! A vibrant goal will help you retain focus on what you are trying to achieve as well as what it will take to get you there.
- When you write your goal, make sure that it is "SMART"
Spacific - detailed enough to know exactly what you should do.
Measurable - you will have a way to know you did or did not reach the goal.
Attainable - the goal is something that is reachable.
Realistic - can you really accomplish this task?
Time Limited - set a date
So, a not so "smart" goal would say something like, "Loose weight." A "smart" goal would say, "Loose 3 pounds a month for a total weight loss of 36 pounds in 2006."
- Visualize - Know your "Why." Understand why you want to attain the goal and what benefit you will have once successful.
- Visualize - Know the Cost of Attainment. Understand the effort or cost to you in attaining the goal. What action steps will you need to take to accomplish your goal?
- Visualize - Know the Cost of Non-Attainment. What are the consequences if you do not make your goals? What will happen if you are not successful?
- Write it Out - Studies have proven that goals that are written down are way more likely to succeed than those that are just thought about or verbalized.
Stephanie L. H. Calahan
Calahan Solutions, Inc.
Organization Consulting for Business, Home and Life