Setting Effective Goals

I know setting goals can seem like a lot of work – and it is a bit of work.

I have witnessed in others and my own life that those who set and maintain a habit of review their goals each year, move farther and fast toward their objectives in life. If you want to finish this year having accomplished much, I suggest giving this process a serious try.

Below, is a 3-step process that anyone can do, which will result in your setting solid, measurable and meaningful goals for this year.

1. Reflections on This Past Year

What were the best things that happened for you in the last year? (personally and professionally)

What were the most challenging things that happened to you in the last year? (personally and professionally)

What were the things you learned in the last year? (personally and professionally)

2. Visualize End of Year Success

Describe, in a few sentences, what success will look like at the end of this year. Think about your health, family, relationships, financial or whatever else is important to you. You might also ask yourself what you will start or stop doing. Write this in “past tense” (Example: I joined a gym, worked out 3x per week and lost 20 lbs)

3. Write S.M.A.R.T. Goals

S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-based. From your Success Visualization in #2 above, write a S.M.A.R.T. goal for the top, key things you intend to accomplish. For each goal you write, ask yourself, “What will DONE look like?” as means to help in writing an effective S.M.A.R.T. goal. Fill in only the “Your S.M.A.R.T. Goals” columns now.

Goal NumberYour S.M.A.R.T. GoalsQ1 On/Off TrackQ2 On/Off TrackQ3 On/Off TrackQ4 Done/Not Done
 1.     
 2.     
 3.     
 4.     
 5.     
      
      
      

If you have a partner, buddy or friend that will do this with you, you have built in accountability and increase you likelihood of success. Otherwise, review your progress on each goal at the end of the quarter (end of March, June, September and finally December). If you’re not “on track”, take positive steps to get back on track with your goal.

Blessings and best wishes to you and yours in this New Year!

[photo credit: greg dorban dot com]

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