It’s that time of year when people decide it’s time to make changes, whether it’s in their own life or to their business. I’ve always called them revolutions rather than resolutions, simply because they end up either:
- Being a massive change
- Coming round again next year (because they never got off the starting blocks!)
The difference between a dream and a goal is that a goal is that a goal is something you are prepared to take action on – and goal setting is not just an activity that you should be doing once a year when the calendar says it’s January again. Most people’s New Year Resolutions are really just optimistic daydreams (and I’ve had more than my fair share of those). So how do you make your dreams come true?
- Write down your outcome with a date for achievement attached.
- If it’s a really big goal break it down into milestones and put a date on each milestone. So, for instance, if you have a lot of weight to lose or have a big hike in business profit to achieve don’t overwhelm yourself with big numbers, it’s the easiest way to get discouraged – the mountain looks so big you hesitate to get started, or give up quite quickly with thoughts like ‘I’ll never do that’.
- Turn the goal into a ‘to do’ list. If you have several goals, create yourself with a ‘to do’ list that includes all the actions that will need to be done to achieve your goals.
- Put each action into your diary with time allocated to carry out the necessary activity.
- Put something visible up where you will see it. I use Workflowy AND my Outlook calendar – I used to keep a clear folder on my desk with this week’s action plan visible.
- If something ‘comes up’ and you don’t get your activity done on the day originally assigned – RESCHEDULE – or it will fall off the edge of the action plan.
- Review progress regularly – check that you’ve done all the things scheduled weekly, check you’re on target for achievement monthly – if you’re falling behind it’s time to tweak the plan to either change deadlines to reflect progress or, better still, to increase or change activities to get the originally stated results.
If you do all this you’ll be astonished at how much you get done and how well you do with achieving your outcomes. A little activity on a regular basis creates huge results!
Goal setting should be revisited at least every three or four months. There will be things on your list that have become less important and new things that need to be added. When you see how effective using these steps are, you’ll find you’re eager to do it again – success breeds enthusiasm!
If you are finding that big blank sheet of paper daunting – you might find this template useful: Goals basic