A new year is a great opportunity to set goals for yourself, but many of us either get a little too ambitious with our goal-setting, or just don’t set goals at all. It’s far too easy to set 50 goals on January 1st only to completely forget about them by the 31st, so here are 5 steps for setting goals you will actually keep in 2017.
1. Be realistic
Know yourself, and don’t say you’re going to do something that you realistically cannot do. Losing 60 pounds in one year or rising from lower level management to CEO in a year is simply not doable for the average person, and making unrealistic goals just sets you up for failure. Similarly, don’t set out to achieve 20 things in the new year if you know you’ll most likely only be able to manage a couple of them. It is far better to set three solid goals for yourself that are challenging, yet doable. Just start small.
2. Be specific
Saying ‘I want to get in shape this year’ is not a specific goal; it’s far too vague and provides too much opportunity for you to not follow through. Saying ‘I’m going to exercise a minimum of three times a week every week’ is a specific goal, and a far more effective one because you know right away whether you are succeeding or falling short of your goal.
3. Break it down
After setting a goal, break it down into specific task items that outline how you’re going to get it done. For example, if your 2017 goal is to find a new job, write down action items such as ‘make a list of new job prospects,’ ‘update resume’ etc. By breaking down your goals into smaller task items, you’re giving yourself a bit of a road map to help you get to your final destination.
4. Set dates
Don’t just say you want to get something done in 2017, give yourself a specific date get it done by. This will help you be that much more accountable, and will keep you on track.
Don’t forget to constantly check in with yourself as you’re going through the year to see if you’re on track with your goals. Once again, your goals should be specific and easily measurable, so make sure to keep evaluating your progress as you go. This will allow you to add new task items and adjust your methods of achieving your goals if need be.
A new year brings opportunities for new growth, but we so often miss out because we fail to set strong, attainable goals. Follow these five steps for goal-setting, and Invest in you this year by committing to self-progress in 2017!