Happy New Year! This is goal setting season — big time. Have you made your New Year’s resolutions yet? And if you have, are you sticking to them one week into the New Year?
I was never really a big fan of actively setting goals. However, I had a small epiphany this past year when I realized I’d achieved some things I wanted to achieve without really planning for them. Within the last year I started my business, ran the Boston Marathon, and traveled throughout Asia for 3 months. Not a bad year when you come to think of it. What I realized after doing these things, however, is that you can achieve so much more when you actively plan your life.
Here are some approaches I’m currently using in my own 2014 goal setting process. These tips can apply to your business, a job search, career advancement, or your family life.
4 Steps To Accomplish Your 2014 Goals
- Figure out your values – Write down why you want to achieve your goals, as well as the emotions associated with those reasons. I found that using Anthony Robbins’ Personal Power section on goal setting was an effective way of uncovering and understanding why I want to achieve specific goals.
- Narrow down the goals– We’re all high-achievers and want to be great at everything. I think, however, that it works better to choose just a few goals to focus on at any given time. Personally, I have 9 top priority goals for my business and personal life this year, and plan to devote my whole being to achieving them. In doing research for this article, I came across a good idea which advocated focusing on each goal for a quarter of the year. By the end of the year you will have achieved at least four major goals. In my case, I will need to focus on 2+ goals per quarter.
- Tell others about your goals – For the goals you can make public, share them with people you think will be supportive and ask their help to keep you accountable. This is one of the best ways I’ve found to keep myself motivated as I progress through the year since I don’t want to disappoint the people I trust and respect. For example, I just had a call about goal setting and shared some of my goals with a friend. We agreed to have occasional check points throughout the year to make sure I’m making headway versus my goals.
- Review, review, review – I’m already doing a weekly review thanks to Getting Things Done, but now I’ve incorporated reviewing my yearly goals into this process. This way I can get a weekly feel for where I stand on both my short and long term goals. I will also step back once a month and once a quarter to evaluate my progress overall.
Stacks of books have been written on the topic of setting and achieving goals, but I hope that the suggestions I’ve made above will help you achieve our 2014 goals. How do you set and achieve your goals? Please share any approaches that have worked for you in the comments below.