The term “New Year’s Resolution” has become synonymous with unmet goals. I’ve been a “goal setter” for a long time, about as long as I can remember. But I haven’t always been a “goal worker”. When we set goals, it’s naturally with the aim that the goals will be fulfilled or accomplished. I’ve learned a few things over the years that have increased my likelihood of accomplishing my objectives – simple stuff – that I’ll share with you here.
- Create categories for your goals: The purpose of my goals is to impact others in a positive way in all aspects of my life. So, I define the aspects in categories. Mine are “relational”, “business/vocational”, “self” and “serving others”. Use these if you’d like or come up with your own.
- Brainstorm ideas for each category: Begin with the end in mind. When the year is complete, what would you like to be able to look back at and have done? Those things are your goal ideas for the coming year. I recommend writing your goals in the “S.M.A.R.T.” format (search the net and you’ll find more on this). Write as many potential goals as you wish for each category.
- Pick the top one or two things for each category: The tendency for high achievers is to pick too many goals and work on everything a little bit – which accomplishes nothing. It’s better to pick fewer goals that one actually completes than several that are partially done. And remember, you’ll accomplish other feats during the year that aren’t part of your planned goals. But make the goals the priority of your energy.
- Write down the goals and display: I have kept a copy of my written goals on my office desk for many years. I see them every day. Pick a location that will create a visual cue for you daily. No, I don’t do something every day to work on my goals, but the visual reminder prompts me to make progress on them regularly.
I love to cross of an accomplished goal! I do that when something I’ve defined is completed. My success rate on written goals moves between 65% and 80% – not too good in some circles. But I adhere to the belief that the process of setting and using visual cues for my goals gets me further and helps me accomplish more than if I hadn’t done this at all. Simply put, I’m further for having done this than having not.
Give this a try and I’d love to hear feedback from anyone that is taking a shot at this. Best to you and yours for the New Year!