How To Set Goals For The New Year
For the past couple of days I’ve been sitting thinking about everything that I’ve done in 2011 and every thing that I have accomplished (or haven’t accomplished) and how I can improve on that for the new year.
See, last year in 2010 I set goals for 2011, and as I’m going through my list of what I had hoped to accomplish, I’m finding that a lot of those things on the list were never completed. Why? Because I didn’t do what I’m about to show you how to do.
How To Set Goals: The Basics
We all know that in order to set goals, they have to be written down. Right? And I mean writing it down on an actual piece of paper with a pen or a pencil. None of that typing it into your smartphone crap. WRITE IT DOWN ON PAPER. You need something physical and tangible to be able to work from every day, every week, every month.
Notice that I said every day, week and month? Well that is part of goal setting. You don’t want to just set goals that have no time frame for getting done. Which leads me to what I want to talk about next…
How To Set Goals That Are SMART
Not smart as in intelligent. But SMART.
Specific- a specific goal has a much higher chance of being achieved than a general goal. Questions to ask your self are:
- Who: who has to be involved?
- What: exactly do I want to accomplish?
- Where: identify an area of your life that the goal impacts
- When: what is the time frame for accomplishing the goal
- Why: What benefits will I get from it?
A general goal is ” I am going to get in shape.” A SMART goal is “I am going to join my local gym and workout 3 times per week on Tues, Thurs, and Sunday.”
Measurable- to determine if your goal is measurable ask these questions: how much, how many, how will I know when this has been accomplished? As in the example above, there is no specific target to be measured by saying you are going to shape. Saying you are going to join a gym and go workout 3 days a week is measurable.
Attainable- when setting goals that are actually attainable, you will work to figure out how you can make those goals a reality. When you set a goal that is too far out of your reach, you probably won’t commit to seeing it come to fruition. This is the difference between saying “I am going to make $5,000 a month” vs. “I am going to make $1 million a month.”
Realistic- as in the example above, you have to make sure you are setting goals that are realistic. That does not mean easy or dumbed down. It simple means that it must be realistically possible for you to achieve it given your specified time frame and given your resources.
Timely- you must set a time frame for achieving your goal. Saying WHEN you will get something done makes it much more likely that you will do it. When you set goals with no time frame…well we know what happens. They get pushed back and pushed back until one day we look up and it’s the end of the year and we still have not gotten it done.
How To Set Goals And Be Accountable
Now this is where most people screw up when it comes to accomplishing those goals that they set. They try to hold themselves accountable. I admit that this is where I screwed up too, so don’t feel bad.
I have come to the conclusion that human nature just doesn’t lend to humans actually being accountable to themselves. Why? Because people don’t care about letting themselves down. They care about letting other people down. That’s just the way it is. People will sooner keep their promises to someone else than keep a promise to themselves. That’s why you need to have an accountability partner.
Say you’ve set a goal to work out 2 times a week. And the only person who knows that you set that goal is you. You can see how easy it is to slack off on that goal because no one knows about it. You tell yourself “I’ll just go next week” or “I’ll go once this week and three times next week to make up for this week.” You think because your intentions are good, that you can get away with not doing what you said you would. BUT your accountability partner is not going to hold you to your intentions. They are going to hold you to your goal, and see that you stay on the right path. Once you tell your goal to someone else it’s like etching it in stone. It’s done. Because you don’t want to disappoint that person and look like a loser for not doing what you promised you’d do.
So this is the formula I’m using to set goals for the new year. Have you set your goals yet? 2011 is almost over!
Here’s To Your Success in 2012!
P.S. If one of your goals in 2012 is to make more money, check out this free video showing how myself and so many others are increasing our income in the new year!
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