Many people and small businesses set goals at the beginning of the year but few actually accomplish them. Has this happened to you?
If you answered 'yes', then know that you're not alone. I'm not telling you it's ok but what I am telling you is that you're one of many people in this situation. Are you motivated and dead serious about making the necessary changes needed to succeed in your personal and professional life?
With the right amount of motivation and desire, you can become more effective. It won't happen overnight but you can certainly create new habits in about a month if you follow the advice I'm giving you in this article.
First, learn how to set appropriate goals. It's not hard but requires an understanding of the ingredients needed to make them a reality. Just like making a cake requires ingredients, so does goal setting. If you miss something, it will likely not work out too well. Start this process by learning the SMART goals criteria.
- S is for 'specific'. Each goal you set needs to be very specific to your ultimate goal or dream. A common mistake is to mix goals together and this confuses the process. Be very clear and concise with your goals.
- M is for 'measurable'. How do you know whether you've reached your goal unless you have some quantitative measurement? This is generally numerical such as a monetary amount or a absolute number. For example, if you may have a specific goal to reduce your debt this year. The measurement will be reducing the debt by $5,000.
- A is for 'attainable'. This component is interesting because as humans we believe we can accomplish more than we really can. We often don't have a point of reference so we guess and too many times, the number is way higher than a person can really achieve. Be realistic and don't set the bar too high or low. If it's too low, you'll be bored and the goal will be a slam dunk. If it's too high, you'll miss your target and become disappointed in yourself. If you're unsure about whether your goal is achievable, hire a coach to help you.
- R is for 'relevant'. Is your goal relevant to your ultimate goal or dream? People are very good at keeping themselves busy but are you keeping yourself focused on those projects that are most important for you to achieve your financial goal or dream? If not, now is the time to refocus your energy week-to-week on those tasks that will help you stay on track.
- T is for 'time dimensioned'. Any goal needs to have a start date and an end date. Without a time frame for accomplishing the goal, you give yourself permission to procrastinate. Without a date, you are not serious about achieving your ultimate goal or dream.
Second, make sure all of your goals are on paper. If you use your computer, print out your goals and put them in a three ring binder so you can look at them daily. Make a habit of reviewing your written goals in the morning when you wake and just before bedtime. Your goals should be looked at as a living document. You'll be adding and removing content as time goes by.
Lastly, find a good mentor or coach with whom you can share your goals. They will help hold you accountable for achieving results.