The last week of the year can be pivotal in setting the stage for your new year success.
I have long been a goal setter. I have never understood the people who openly brag about NOT having goals. I talked with a woman the other day who said she never sets goals, and when I asked why she shrugged and curled her mouth in a manner that showed her annoyance with the question. Another gentleman told me that "setting goals is just for dreamers". He was a "realist" who believed in hard work, but did not want to set himself up for failure.
I see it differently. Successful businesses have business plans and sales goals. Investors would never put money behind a venture where the entrepreneur said he was just going to work hard and figure out the rest as went along. I could not imagine a bank giving a line of credit to a company who was annoyed by questions about their future projections. Why are people different than a business? If you want to achieve success, you must have thought through the path that will lead you there.
If you do not know what success looks like, how will you know if you get there? Additionally, I have found that by having very clear goals, it makes it MUCH easier to make the hard choices along the way.
I think about my goals all year round. That does not mean that I always reach them, or that I always do the right things. But if I did not have them, I would be adrift.
If you have not set goals before, my five tips for making creating your goals are:
1. Set aside ample time to contemplate what you want to achieve in the new year. When setting your goals for 2010 you must think about the realities of your personal situation. Where are you today, and what is it that you desire in the new year. Too often people just make a fast list without giving real thought to what it is they want. Set aside an hour a day the week between Christmas and New Years to create your list. Make notes, and tweak your goals every day until you are happy with the list and believe you can make them a reality.
2. Be realistic. Goals are not "wishes". Do not list things that are equal to winning a lottery, but instead make you list things that you can achieve if you do the right things. I like to use "writing a book" as an example of a realistic goal. Anyone can write a book, but to do this you must dedicate time and do the work. A book cannot write itself, and if you continuously put off doing the writing, there will not be a book. But if you write for an hour every day, you can (and will) have a draft in about 40 days. All goals should be able to be broken down into steps.
3. Don't have too many goals, (or too few). I like to have a three categories of goals, with two, three or four goals in each section. I like to have business goals, personal goals, and "soul" goals. For me, having nine or ten goals each year gives me the inspiration to work toward my success. I do not always achieve all of them (I still have 9 lbs to lose from last year, and weigh the same as I did on 1/1/09).... but I do achieve more in my life than I ever could have without the focus of having written goals. You can have more things that you are working towards than the goals on your list, but having a realistic number of goals will help keep you moving the right direction.
4. Create a goal page and review it often. After you have identified the goal targets that will excite you to achieve in 2010, you must write them down in a way that you can review them regularly. I have a friend who uses 8.5" x 11" and laminates three copies. One for his office, one in his car, and the other in his SHOWER! Another friend has her goals as the wall paper on her computer. I shrink the list down to fit in my wallet so that I see my goals each time I reach for money. No matter what works for you, find a way to make your goals.
5. Tell others about your goals. If you have big goals that you are trying to achieve, you will have more success if you share your targets with other people. The important people in your life want to support and help you reach your goals, and they can only do this if they know what you want to achieve. I will go as far as to publish mine on this blog on December 31st so that you who are reading this can be part of my support team.
If you have never set goals before, try it this year. Be dedicated to your efforts and review your goals constantly. You have nothing to lose, and a lot to gain from working on a goal list.
Share with me your thoughts on goal setting. What did I leave out from this list that works for you?
Have A Great Day.