Each year I write down my annual goals in lieu of NYE resolutions. For me, specific goals are more attainable than some resolution you forget about 20 days into January.
Goal setting was introduced to me by my father. As a kid, he continuously asked thought provoking questions like, “What do you want to do when you grow up?”, “What do you need to do today to reach that goal?” Though it seemed redundant, these conversations helped shape my futuristic way of thinking. He encouraged me to put pen to paper and write out my goals starting with long term goals followed by short term goals. My dad instilled the importance of setting deadlines and hanging these goals in a place we could look at daily and discuss. Of course as a child, I thought the concept was a bit silly, but it has stayed with me throughout the years.
As the year is approaching its end, I’m starting to reflect on the 2014 goals I set out to accomplish. Did I achieve all I set out to? How attainable were these goals? What could I have done differently?
5 Tips for effective goal setting:
1. Write them down! What kind of a plan doesn’t include a written map?
2. Break goals up into categories: Long Term, Short Term, 6 months, quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily. If you look at them as small steps rather than an overwhelming ‘idea’, it becomes more attainable.
3. Give yourself deadlines. Without deadlines, the ‘goal’ will float in limbo and never be achieved.
4. Share and discuss them with others. This helps hold yourself and others accountable.
5. Place them in a spot you look at DAILY. The phrase ‘out of sight out of mind’ is applicable here. If you look at your goals on a daily basis, you’re more likely to achieve them at the pace you’ve set.
Your goal list can be as simple as a hand written piece of paper or an elaborate dream board. I type my goal sheet out and print off a few copies: one for home, one for the office, and one for my purse. A friend of mine from the gym recently introduced me to a fancy Passion Planner, which I am pre-ordering for the 2015 year. Whatever method you choose, be sure to revisit the goals you set out for yourself. You may find they need to be tweaked along the way, which is perfectly acceptable.
Think about what you want to achieve, create your plan, and make 2015 the best year to come!