As we begin a brand new year there’s no more important endeavor than sitting down and writing out your goals. Oftentimes we avoid writing goals because we don’t want to be held accountable to putting ou r dreams in action. But at other times, let’s just face it we don’t know how to do it. So here’s a ten-step process that I want to suggest to you on how to write your goals.
1. Tie it to. Tie it to something important, of value, a mission statement, or beliefs important to you. If it’s not meaningful you won’t put forth the effort.
2. Cast it forward into the future. One year is a good marker. Two is okay. Much more than three and you get into the land of the unknown. But cast it forward. What can be done in an entire year? We tend to overestimate what we can do in a short amount of time and underestimate what we can do over time.
3. Write it down. Write down what the goal is. Usually a goal is to, plus a verb, plus an amount, plus a date.
4. Back it up. Back up to where you are today and ask yourself what you’re going to have to do differently from right now to get to this goal.
5. Break it up. Break it up into smaller pieces. What can you do today, this week, this month?
6. Date it. As the old saying goes, what gets dated gets done. It is never truer than with goals. Get out your calendar and put a date on when you’re going to take your first, second, third, and fourth step to reaching this goal.
7. Plan weekly. Years ago I gave up planning daily and started planning weekly. That’s enough time to really get a picture of where my time is going.
8. Discipline daily. This basically means just get up and do the next right thing. Every day make a commitment to get up, suit up, show up, and do the next right thing.
9. Celebrate constantly. When you reach the midway point or a milestone toward a goal, celebrate. Acknowledge the progress you’ve made.
10. Review often and adjust as needed. Goals are just that, goals. They are not set in stone. They are ways to make progress and to make meaningful the things you say you want in life. So like any good plan or goal, things can change. And so you review often and adjust as needed.
As you face this New Year, don’t be afraid to set smart goals.