More Than the Usual Goal Setting

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Beginning a new year is such a hopeful time. Whether we break out an unblemished calendar or merely scroll over to the month of January on our smart phones, there’s the sense of being given a fresh start every January 1st. 

We often write goals for the coming year in anticipation of accomplishing great things.  Most of us write goals for the work we want to accomplish and we align them with our department and company goals. 

However, do we write goals that help us professionally improve in our careers, or work better with others, or improve our skills in areas of emotional intelligence or communication?  That type of goal usually gets put on the back burner, or if we do write one as a professional development goal, it is written in a way that is very tactical.  “Take a course in Excel”, for example. 

Do you want to make 2018 the best and most successful year of your life?  Then think about writing your goals more holistically.  These tips are very practical and easy to do, and they will be greatly beneficial to your success.

To write goals holistically, make a list of areas that you want to improve in.  If you set one or two goals in each of them, you’re bound to see a ripple effect in every area.  These could be things like:

A bad habit I want to break.

A new skill I want to learn in order to…..

A person I want to be more like.

A good deed I would like to do.

A place I need to see/be.

A relationship that I want to improve.

A connection I want to make.

A good habit I want to strengthen.

A collaboration that would make both benefit both parties.

A heathy habit I want to create.

When you determine where you want to improve, ask yourself this question…  “Where do I want to be in 12 months?” 

Write down your goals for the areas you want to change and then look at the goals that you have written down. Think to yourself, “If I could wave a magic wand, which one goal would have the greatest impact on my life.”  Do this as you move through the goals you have written and you will get a priority order of which areas to focus on most/first. 

Break them down further into actions and tasks.  Start each day by completing one action or task first thing in the morning. This is one of the great psychological tricks of success…   Get that great feeling of checking something important off the list and it will set your day up for success. Do that every day for 3 weeks and you will develop the habit.

While it would be great to write and accomplish very lofty goals in the coming New Year, make sure that any goals you set are ones you can accomplish in twelve months. Instead of setting a huge goal that involves lots of steps, work on framing your goals as smaller goals that can be accomplished reasonably with some stretch.  Setting goals is a very positive step in the right direction, but setting too high of goals and not accomplishing them will have you feeling at worst like a failure and at best questioning why you bothered. 

So set those goals!  Set your goals more holistically.  Write them down and prioritize your goals.  Then work at accomplishing one actions or task each day.  All of this will take you a long way towards where you would like to be at the end of 2018 and bring value to you and to those around you, sending your career on a positive path forward!