How are those New Year’s resolutions coming? After a couple of weeks, most people have already given up. Are you tired of setting goals but not achieving them? It’s not your fault. We don’t exactly teach kids in school how to set and achieve goals. Though the work that I do is more focused on helping entrepreneurs break through road blocks, we almost always spend some time getting really clear on what they want. Here are some tips to getting better results by setting better goals in 2012:
Set SMART Goals
This is basic, but essential. You’re not going to achieve your goals unless the goal you’re setting is Specific, Measurable, Attainable/Realistic and Time-based (has a deadline). Ask yourself, “What exactly do I want and how will I measure success?” and “When exactly will I have completed it?”
Believe it or not, you’re more likely to achieve your goal if it’s something big and worthwhile than if it seems too small. It can’t be totally unrealistic, but setting a huge, meaningful goal will help you stay motivated when the initial enthusiasm is gone. Small goals will leave you thinking, “Why did I want this again?” or even “Meh, it’s not really worth it.” So think bigger!
Write it Down
I’ve read a ton about goal setting and this one is non-negotiable. If you are serious about making more money or losing weight or getting out more, it’s not enough to just think it. Write down your goals and put them where you will see them everyday.
Zig Ziglar, the deep-voiced sales guru who was popular in the 90s, has a goal-setting system I love. He recommends paring down what you want to achieve to just four things. I think it’s a great maximum. And if you get really honest about all of the things you want, narrowing it down to just four is flat-out painful. But having that kind of clarity on what you really want can make all of the difference.
Zig Ziglar (fun fact: his real name is Hilary Hinton, no joke) also has a system for keeping track of his goals. You can buy his Performance Planner (I definitely don’t get paid, but figure I at least owe him a link), or you can create your own system. I personally love www.joesgoals.com for a super-simple online system.The idea is to remind yourself regularly of your goals and check in daily on your progress.
Make a Quick-and-Dirty Plan
So often, people set goals, thinking they have a pretty good idea of what needs to be done, and then nothing happens. Maybe you fall into the camp where you spend ages creating the perfect plan, you just never get to the “action” phase. I’ve been guilty of that one a few times. My clients find it really helpful to make a super quick-and-dirty plan in 5-10 minutes. It outlines the major benchmarks and what it will take to realize their goal. They can add more detail where they need to. If nothing else, they have broken their goal down into more manageable steps and are less likely to get stuck doing nothing.
What are your goals for this year? Maybe it’s to make more money, work less or to have more fun. Maybe it’s simply to be kinder to yourself. I hope you find these tips helpful and I hope you get everything you want, and more, out of 2012. If you’re serious about getting better results in your business and your life, invest in yourself with Cake Coaching. Coaching is my calling, I can’t wait to hear about yours.