As we welcomed in 2014, millions of people made their annual resolutions for the New Year vowing to accomplish everything on that “goal setting” list. This can be a very exciting time as many will view the beginning of a new year as the perfect opportunity to leave behind old behaviours and welcome a start fresh. As a personal development coach and social worker, I have worked with many clients helping them to set goals to achieve a life they desire. Having a plan is essential and how you plan is equally important. A wise person once told me, “If you don’t plan to succeed, then you plan to fail”. To be successful, follow these 8 steps…
1.) Pen and paper: Instead of thinking about what you want, write down all the goals you would like to accomplish this year. It’s easy to just think about what you want but it will most likely be just that … a thought. Yes, our thoughts are very powerful because the non-conscious mind cannot tell the difference between what is real or imagined and will accept the images we feed it but going the extra step to write down your goals will confirm to yourself the commitment you are about to make. Please note that you don’t have to achieve all these goals in one year but it serves as a reminder of your desires.
2.) Simplify: Yes simplify! Having a long list of goals to achieve is great but what’s not so great is trying to accomplish all of them at once. This is too overwhelming and places a lot of pressure on you that could lead to the possibility of abandoning your goals all together. So choose one goal from your list that you really want to achieve. If you are having trouble choosing just one, ask yourself which goal will have the biggest impact in your life once accomplished.
3.) Personal Mantra: Turn your goal into your very own personal mantra. It should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timed. Being too general such as “This year I will make more money” does not give enough detail as to how you will accomplish this and lacks accountability if not achieved. A better goal would be “I will earn $3000.00 more than I did last year”. You can post this anywhere that you will see it daily. This will serve as a friendly reminder and help to keep you focused
4.) Action Plan: Now it’s time to write out your action steps necessary to achieve your goal. Based on the example of earning $3000.00 more than last year, what steps/changes will you need to make. For example, budgeting to put aside $250.00 a month into a saving account or work towards getting that promotion. Ask yourself, what can I do this month to move closer to my goal? or what I can do today to move closer to my goal?
5.) Believe: Fully believing that you can accomplish your goal is not an option but mandatory. Without it, it will be very easy to stray away and give up on your goal. So now that you have everything written out take time to review your action plan by asking do I truly believe that I can accomplish this goal? Is it realistic, manageable and achievable?
6.) Motivation: What is motivating you to want to achieve this particular goal at this particular time in your life? Having a reason that is meaningful and personal to you will keep you motivated. To check your motivational reasons ask yourself these questions…. What if I don’t achieve this goal how would it affect my life? If I achieve this goal how will my life change? Questions like these will help you determine your level of commitment and your readiness to move forward. Once you have confirmed your reason “why” write down your answers and keep them with you as a motivational reminder throughout the year.
7.) Reach Out to Others: Sometimes we need a little extra help along the way to keep us focused. I recommend telling one or two other persons about your goal. Ask them to be your support in case you may lose focus. But here’s thing… Only choose people who want to see you succeed and you know will be there for you when you call. Any negativity, jealously, derailment from others is not welcome here.
8.) Have fun: Yes, have fun! Relish in knowing that you are going to accomplish a new goal, a goal that you have been putting off or even a goal that you may have tried to achieve before. Enjoy the process, your journey will probably have its ups and downs but once you have taken the time to complete these steps it will motivate you to remain focused.
Women’s Personal Growth & Development Coach