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How to Win in 2010 – Setting and Keeping Your Goals

Happy New Year! Did you make any New Year’s resolutions this year? I know one that I should have made – eliminate procrastination! I’ve been struggling to write this blog entry for about a week now.

If you’re like me, you look forward to the start of a new year as a time when you get to push the “restart” button on everything you planned to do the year before. “This is the year that I’ll finally get in shape,” we tell ourselves. Or we say “this year I’m going to finally take my business to new heights.” And then there’s the dreadful “this year, I’ll no longer procrastinate!” But then about a month (or a week) into the new year, we seem to fall back into our old self destructive and unproductive habits.

Why is it so difficult to stick to New Year’s resolutions? Most experts say it is because most of us make vague declarations rather than setting measurable goals with specific action steps.   Make this the year you actually keep your New Year’s resolutions by keeping the following tips in mind:

1.  Make the goal measurable or at least visual:  Some goals, like weight loss, naturally lend themselves to measurement.  If you have this type of goal, be sure to include a specific number or other measurement tool against which you’ll be able to measure your progress (I’ll lose 20 pounds by December 31st).  Other goals, however, aren’t as easily measureable, such as “research new marketing methods for my business.”  The steps to reach that goal are measurable, however, and should be identified upfront to help you stay on target (for example, meet with five marketing consultants by the end of the first quarter).

2.  Have a mix of lofty goals and easy goals:  If everything on your list is like climbing Mount Everest, you may get discouraged and wind up feeling like you failed to accomplish anything at the end of the year.  If, however, you have a mix of some you will be able to accomplish fairly easily, you may gain the confidence needed to tackle the biggies.  And limit the number of goals you set for yourself to a realistic number.  A spreadsheet of 25 might take you all year just to write out the action steps, let alone actually implement them.

3.  Write down your goals and action steps:  This step is the one that experts agree makes all the difference between success and failure.  In your mind, create a vivid picture of your desired outcomes.  Then put that vision on paper.   Writing down the goals helps you “commit” to them and writing the action steps with timetables gives you a plan of action.

For more tips on keeping your New Year’s resolutions, check out the website of goal guru Stephen Covey.  He offers advice, books, and even an on-line goal setting system to keep you accountable.  https://www.stephencovey.com/

Kara

1 comment to How to Win in 2010 – Setting and Keeping Your Goals

  • Hey Kara, thanks for the great info! I think your advice is excellent but I would add one thing that I’m doing and am really excited about right now: I have asked an old friend in NY to be my life coach/mentor and he has agreed. We will meet 2x per month to discuss and assess my tactics and progress toward goals. For me, the purpose of the coach is to close the gap between where I am and where I want to be. I selected this individual because while we have great respect for each other, we have never been afraid to hold each other accountable. He has also accomplished many of the things I am striving for this year. This is someone who I know will stretch me beyond my comfort zone and fears to achieve my aggressive goals for 2010. I have also started reading “Coach Yourself to Success” by Talane Miedaner – it is excellent.

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