I am in high spirits as I feel I have been given a clean slate or canvas to wield my magic and create a future I want for myself. I see into the year and I see dancing, laughter, rejoicing and overcoming. I add overcoming because I know life is full of challenges, but God has given us strength to overcome and we will.
So what better time to write your goals and set achievable ones? Thus, I surfed the net and came up with great materials that I have summarised into the below. Credit of this goes to Google, Mind Tools, Success Power by Sam Adeyemi, Michael Hyatt and loads more, I say thank you for this wealth of experience.
Goal setting is a process that starts with careful consideration of what you want to achieve, and ends with a lot of hard work to actually do it. In between there are some very well defined steps that transcend the specifics of each goal. Knowing these steps will allow you to formulate goals that you can accomplish.
Goal setting is a powerful process for thinking about your ideal future, and for motivating yourself to turn your vision of this future into reality.
The process of setting goals helps you choose where you want to go in life. By knowing precisely what you want to achieve, you know where you have to concentrate your efforts. You’ll also quickly spot the distractions that can, so easily, lead you astray.
Keep them few in number. Productivity studies show that you really can’t focus on more than 5–7 items at any one time. And don’t try to cheat by including sections with several goals under each section. This is a recipe for losing focus and accomplishing very little. Instead, focus on a handful of goals that you can repeat almost from memory.
Make them “SMART.” This is an acronym. Goals must meet five criteria. They must be:
TIMELY (TIME BOUND) or Tangible
Specific—A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. To set a specific goal you must answer the six “W” questions:
*Who: Who is involved?
*What: What do I want to accomplish?
*Where: Identify a location.
*When: Establish a time frame.
*Which: Identify requirements and constraints.
*Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.
For example, Bad: Get in shape in 2015.Good: Join a health club and workout 3 days a week.
Measurable—Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set. When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs you on to continued effort required to reach your goal. To determine if your goal is measurable, ask questions such as…How much? How many? How will I know when it is accomplished? As the old adage says, “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.” If possible, try to quantify the result. You want to know absolutely, positively whether or not you hit the goal. For example….Bad: “Earn more this year than last.”Good: “Earn N200, 000 more this year than last.”
Actionable/Attainable—When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true. You develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them. You begin seeing previously overlooked opportunities to bring yourself closer to the achievement of your goals. You can attain most any goal you set when you plan your steps wisely and establish a time frame that allows you to carry out those steps. Goals that may have seemed far away and out of reach eventually move closer and become attainable, not because your goals shrink, but because you grow and expand to match them. When you list your goals you build your self-image. You see yourself as worthy of these goals, and develop the traits and personality that allow you to possess them. Every goal should start with an action verb (e.g., “quit,” “run,” “finish,” “eliminate,” etc.) rather than a to-be verb (e.g., “am,” “be,” “have,” etc.) One of my own goals is on my blog, thus the below example….Bad: Be more consistent in blogging. Good: Write one blog posts per week.
Realistic—to be realistic, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work. A goal can be both high and realistic; you are the only one who can decide just how high your goal should be. But be sure that every goal represents substantial progress. A high goal is frequently easier to reach than a low one because a low goal exerts low motivational force. Some of the hardest jobs you ever accomplished actually seem easy simply because they were a labor of love. Bad: Qualify for the woman of the year award. Good: Influence my community by giving out writing materials to public schools
Timely—A goal should be grounded within a time frame. With no time frame tied to it there’s no sense of urgency. If you want to lose 10 lbs, when do you want to lose it by? “Someday” won’t work. But if you anchor it within a timeframe, “by May 1st”, then you’ve set your unconscious mind into motion to begin working on the goal. Your goal is probably realistic if you truly believe that it can be accomplished. Additional ways to know if your goal is realistic is to determine if you have accomplished anything similar in the past or ask yourself what conditions would have to exist to accomplish this goal. T can also stand for Tangible – A goal is tangible when you can experience it with one of the senses, that is, taste, touch, smell, sight or hearing. When your goal is tangible you have a better chance of making it specific and measurable and thus attainable. Every goal needs a date associated with it. When do you plan to deliver on that goal? It could be by year-end (December 31) or it could be more near-term (September 30). A goal without a date is just a dream. Make sure that every goal ends with a ‘by when date’. Bad: Lose 20kg Good: Lose 2kg each month end
Write them down. This is critical. There is a huge power in writing your goals down even if you never develop an action plan or do anything else (not recommended). Henriette Anne Klauser documents this in her fascinating book, Write It Down and Make It Happen. When you write something down, you are stating your intention and setting things in motion.
Review them frequently. While writing your goals down is a powerful exercise in itself, the real juice is in reviewing them on a regular basis. This is what turns them into reality. Every time you review your goals, ask yourself, what’s the next step I need to take to move toward this goal? You can review them daily, weekly, or monthly. It’s up to you. The key is to do let them inspire and populate your daily task list.
Share them selectively. It is advised that people should “go public” with their goals—even blog about them. However in a culture like ours, telling someone your goals makes them less likely to happen. Due to what Africans have termed voodoo or juju. I advice you do not share them with anyone who is not committed to helping you achieve them rather share with your mentor, mastermind group like one I am in called X-land, or business partner.
The practice of goal-setting is not just helpful; it is a prerequisite for happiness. Psychologists tell us that people who make consistent progress toward meaningful goals live happier more satisfied lives than those who don’t.
Finally, I urge you, if you don’t have written goals, let me encourage you to make an appointment on your calendar to work on them. Writing goals is for me synonymous to success, happiness, confidence, living a life of fulfillment…so what are you waiting for? Get on with it!!!!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!