Goal Setting — How to Set Yourself Up For Success
At the start of a new year, most people start to think about setting goals — losing weight, going to the gym, saving money, or buying something that they really want. I know I do. Having the break from my everyday routine between Christmas and New Year’s Eve allows me to have some space to think…and my thoughts go to ‘What do I want to accomplish in the new year?’
Do you need a plan that can be tweaked as the year progresses? These are some of my tips to help me get a plan in place to reach those goals.
The first step is to decide what your priority is this year. Is it to spend more time with family or increase profits or sales in a business or make sure you save more money this year?
Make sure the goal really resonates with you, not your boss or your family. This is all about you. Don’t set more than 3 goals. You won’t do it. I think of myself as an overachiever, so I can do at least 5 if not 7 goals right? Wrong! When I did this, I ended up feeling overwhelmed and disappointed in myself —which sucked all motivation out of me!
Put your goals in writing. Yes, write them down and use the SMART format. Trust me, this will make your goals better defined and help you really get to that pot of gold (hahaha) at the end!
Your goals should be:
- Specific – Identify exactly what you want to achieve. Do not be vague.
I want to read more books – Not Good.
I want to read 3 books this year – Better
I want to read 3 books this year on leadership and team building – YES!
- Measurable – How will you know you are on track? What number can you use?
Save money for a vacation – Not Good
Save $2000 – Better
Save $500/month and book the vacation in 4 months – YES!
- Actionable – Pick action words to help you move towards your goal.
Be more organized – Not Good
Clear my desk at the end of every day – Better
Clear my desk by filing papers, create a to-do list for the next day, and shut down my computer at the end of the day – YES!
- Realistic – Can your goal be achieved? You’ll want to challenge yourself a bit but not so much that you can’t really do it.
Make millions of sales this year- not good
Have a million dollars in sales in my first year – better
Create a sales process that can scale to 1 million dollars in sales- YES!
- Time Bound – Give yourself a deadline,
Retire early – Not Good
Retire at 55 – Better
Retire at 55 with 4.3 million dollars – YES!
It’s a process to work through goal setting. Give yourself the gift of time to do it. Take your time daydreaming about it and then start to put them into the SMART formula.
Then write down these SMART goals and make sure it’s somewhere you can see them regularly. Put a whiteboard up or write it on a piece of paper and hang it on the wall.
Make sure you add the actions you will take to achieve these goals. And stick to them! This is the hardest part. Life gets in the way and it’s easy to make up excuses not to do it.
Need help? Read Atomic Habits by James Clear. His tips on creating habits are legendary. Once you get started creating goals and pairing them with actionable habits — you’ll be unstoppable.