It’s the start of a new year and our thoughts will, quite naturally, turn toward our vision and our goals for the year ahead. Hopefully you will have ticked (checked) a few of your goals off your list from last year and so you may well now be thinking of setting a few more for yourself.
So, in this post, I just wanted to give you a few quick, but deceptively powerful, goal-setting tips. Some of them may seem a little odd, but they are all derived from experience and they are all excellent ideas.
Set Performance Goals AND Outcome Goals
I got this directly from top athlete, Roger Black, and it makes a big difference. Most people think in terms of outcome-based goals. They are going to make an amount of money or get a new house or reach a certain landmark. They are very good things to have, but you need to translate those outcome-based goals into action and the best way of doing that is by setting performance-based goals such as: I will write 1 blog post per day for the next year or I will create 1 new product per month etc.
Make Your Goals SMART but NOT Your Vision
You will have come across this acronym before I have no doubt i.e. that goals should be:
S – Specific
M – Measureable
A – Achievable
R – Realistic
T – Timetabled
It is all well and good for your goals because you need to work on them. But for your vision, allow yourself to dream BIG dreams. Let you mind go where it will on its flights of fancy. Don’t worry about how you will achieve those dreams; just allow yourself the freedom to dream.
Make Sure Your Goals Are Balanced
Think about the three dimensions of what it is to be human: body, mind and spirit. Use them as broad categories for your goals and set goals within each category. An example of a physical goal (body) might be to get fit; an example of a mental goal (mind) might be to get your master’s degree; an example of a spiritual goal (spirit) might be to meditate once a day for the year ahead. Also, in the spirit of balance, make sure you don’t set any goals that are not fair to the people around you.
Journal Your Progress
Stay focussed on your vision and goals, take continuous, persistent action and constantly notice what works and what doesn’t, journaling your progress along the way. Make a note of what specific actions you took on which dates so that when you do manage to produce significant change you can easily correlate cause with effect and, when you can do that, dedicate yourself to doing more of what works and less of what doesn’t. This is a very effective strategy indeed.
Eat More Cake (Take Time Out)
Do not allow yourself to burn out. Always ensure you take some time off. Schedule it and don’t see it as counter-productive. If you are on a diet, then yes – literally, eat some cake. Not every day, of course, but have a day off every now and then. The same goes for every other goal you are pursuing. You need time away from goal-achieving activity to recharge your batteries so that you can come back refreshed, energised and ready to put in quality time and effort.
Review Your Goals Regularly
Find somewhere quiet and inspirational that you can visit easily and regularly. Go to that place about once per week and sit quietly, alone with your thoughts. Run through your goals mentally. Ask yourself if your vision is still the thing to which you are committed and think about each of your major goals in turn. I recommend not working with more than about three or four major goals at any given time. It is these big goals that your will regularly review. Continually ask yourself if they are the right goals and renew your commitment to them.
Remember to Celebrate Each Milestone
Every time you reach a milestone, celebrate it. Find a way you can reward yourself and eat even more cake, metaphorically speaking. Whatever you like to do, just indulge yourself a little. Take your partner for a meal (am I obsessed with food?), go on that trip you always wanted to take or just pamper yourself for a day. You will have earned it.
So there are 7 great little goal-setting tips for you. Now get your thinking cap on and set a few goals you intend to achieve in the year ahead.