From everyday “to do” lists to New Year’s Resolutions, goal setting has become a part of our work and personal life. Even as we get older, goals are just as important because reflection and forward thinking are key ingredients to having a successful career and a healthy life. It’s not too late to get 2016 started the right way. Here are 10 key tips to creating goals:
- Big, hairy, bodacious goals. If your goals are small, you will reach small goals. However, if they are big and make you shake in your boots – you are stretching yourself. Make your over-arching goal a BIG one. Then, you can add subset goals allowing smaller goals to be stepping stone to your big one.
- Ask why and visualize achievement. Just like kids who ask why all the time, be sure to ask yourself why you want this. Will this goal help you achieve what resonates with your values and beliefs? Is there a greater cause you are fulfilling? Once you have those answers, close your eyes and visualize already achieving the goal. Enlist your five senses in your picture of achievement – what do you hear, smell, taste, see, and feel?
- Write it down. There is research that shows that for those who physically capture a goal by writing it down, they wind up achieving their goals over those who do not write it down. Writing combined with a visual reminder is a powerful duo. Whether taped to your computer monitor, a mirror, or a piece of paper folded up and placed in your wallet – you pick it. Just remember to look at it regularly.
- Keep at it. Check your progress and give yourself a pat on the back as you reach milestones. Make it a public celebration with those who know about your goals.
- Share your goals. Friends, family and colleagues can keep you accountable for what you say you are going to do. They may also be the very people who can help you. Just make sure to pick someone who will be supportive and encouraging. Sometimes, others unconsciously sabotage us when we work towards improving areas in our lives. You want to set yourself up for success. If you don’t feel comfortable with someone in your circle, consider hiring a professional. Coaches, consultants and therapists are there for YOU!
- Be appreciative. Every evening think about what you have accomplished towards your goal and appreciate yourself for your work and dedication.
- Never, never, never give up. We have Winston Churchill to thank for that wonderful saying. So many people quit just before the finish line. Sometimes when it is toughest, that is where the learning lesson is hiding or we are on the brink of self-discovery.
- Celebrate. How often do we accomplish a goal and then move without pause on to the next goal? Take time to celebrate your victories, no matter how small they may seem to you.
- Thank your supporters. Just like the Oscars, be sure to roll out your short list of those you want to thank who helped and supported you.
- Key learning lessons. Reflect back on what lessons you learned along the way to reaching your goal. What strengths did you use and how can you use them for future projects? Goals can be tedious when you are working on them, but they can also be the light that leads the way to action and insight.
So, set your BIG goals, and go for it!
To Your Career Success,