Monday, December 07, 2009

Seven Steps To Setting Goals for 2010

Some people set goals. Others do not.

I have never met a person who is dedicated to the goal setting process, and reviews their goals regularly throughout the year, who does not believe that having clear, written and attainable goals is key to their success.

That being said, I have met many people who do not set goals who declare that goal setting is not beneficial. (But how do they know if they do not try it?). They just leave their success to chance. They have dreams and wishes, but no "North Star" by which to navigate their life. They drift. They see others victories as "lucky".

I believe that if you want to accomplish more in your career in 2010 (and beyond) you must take time in December to review 2009. Identify your success and areas where you came up short. Be honest. Clarify what you had hoped to achieve, and understand why you met or missed those desires.

Find focus for what you want in the new year. Looking forward, give some thought to setting goals that will make you push yourself harder than you have in the past. A goal should not be easy, but it should also be something you can reach. If you want easy success... play the lottery (but you probably wont win). Real success comes through hard work.

I have had friends tell me they don't set goals because if they don't achieve them it makes them feel bad. Huh? Don't try because you might fail? Oh my gosh, with that attitude nothing exciting would ever happen in the world.

My own experience has shown that even when I come up short on a goal, I still make amazing progress and do more than my competition. People ask me how I have written six books, I tell them it was a my professional goal to do so. I knew I wanted to do it, I wrote it down, then I went and wrote. I didn't just imagine it, I made it real.

The old saying "Shoot for the moon, even if you miss you'll land among the stars" (quote from Brian Littrell) is the whole point. I have not reached all my goals, but I have moved farther down the path toward my wildest desires.... and will continue to strive year after year.

If you do not know what success looks like, how will you know when you get it?

Here are 5 tips for goal setting:

1. Set aside some time (1-2 hours) to contemplate you past and identify what you want in the future. Make it a priority to know where you want to go in life.

2. Set two or three attainable goals in three areas: professional, personal and spiritual. You do not want to just be focused on business, as you have more to your life than meeting a quota. Do not set too many or to few goals, as this should not be too easy, nor should it be a burden.

3. Write your goals on paper, using a pen. Later, transfer them to you computer. Print three copies. One copy for you home, one for your desk at work, and shrink a third down so it fits in your wallet or purse.

4. Review you goals often. Daily is best, but at least once a week. Keeping them in front of you and actively thinking about them will make it easier to make the tough choices as you go through life.

5. Take action. Goals are not magic. This is not "the law of attraction" or "The Secret". To be a winner in life takes effort and action. You have to make smart choices on how to focus your time and resources so that you are moving toward your goals and not away from them. Sitting still does not work either, as stagnant never wins.

6. Celebrate victories. Anything that moves you closer to achieving a goal is worthy of treating yourself to something. A round of golf, a massage, etc... are great choices (avoid ice cream or other sweets as treats, as I did this once and gained a lot of weight when I was wildly successful on meeting my goals. This created a new goal of needing to lose the pounds).

7. Share you goals with others. When you tell people you are working toward something, you are more likely to follow through on the efforts necessary to reach your goals. When I was writing my first book, I told as many people as I could. Thus it was not as easy to abandon the project.

If you don't create goals and work toward them you will never know if the process will help you be more successful. If you do it and it does not work out the way you want, it will not harm you. Thus, you have nothing to lose, and a lot to gain.

Are you going to make excuses, ignore this post, or the try something new to lead you to more success in 2010?

Have A Great Day.



Tim said...

A simple idea that takes some thought. Thanks for taking the time to outline.

dannielo said...

Great tips.

If you'd like a tool for setting your goals for 2010, you can use this web application:

You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, schedules and a calendar.
A Vision Wall (inspiring images attached to yor goals) is available too.
Works also on mobile.