Keeping Your Eye on the Goal

January 26, 2012 by Rose Cook

This is the time of year that so many of us feel compelled to make resolutions. Resolutions, quite frankly, that won’t be kept. Here’s the thing, most of the New Year’s resolutions we make are things we know we should be doing, but can’t seem to accomplish.  Does losing weight, exercising more or eating better sound familiar? We all want to do better, but old habits die hard. 

Fortunately for me, these yearly resolutions are something I don’t take too seriously. It’s just a bit of fun to throw something out there. 2012:  This year I will eat more chocolate!  In all seriousness though, while I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions, I do like to set goals for myself.  Regardless as to whether they are personal or professional, these goals are the foundation that I hope to build my year on.  In order to have the most chance for success, I’ve found a few tips in goal setting and more importantly goal accomplishing that you may find helpful.

1) Write them down. Print them out. Hang them up. Refer to them often.  This exercise alone will serve to make them real and keeping them visible will encourage you forward.

2) Don’t keep them a secret.  Having the courage to tell others what you’re hoping to, no – going to achieve will keep you motivated even if the going gets tough.  Plus it will provide you a much needed support system to get you over the rough spots.

3) Be realistic. The quickest way to derail yourself is to set a goal that is going to be nearly impossible to achieve. As an example, you may want to run a marathon.  Fantastic, but if you’ve never run a step in your life you may want to consider amending it to running a 5K first. An achievable goal is a stepping stone to the next level you may be hoping for.

 4) Don’t over-goal yourself.  While wanting to accomplish many things is admirable, it’s also self-defeating. Too many goals will likely pull you in too many directions with nothing getting your full and proper attention. Prioritize and select the goals that have the most meaning and that will provide you the most satisfaction.

5) Be flexible.  What was goal worthy a month ago may no longer be as relevant or important as something that has just popped up. Roll with it. For example, taking a class to learn a new skill sounded great until an exciting new business opportunity came up – and there’s no time for both.  Old goal: take a class. New goal: jump on new business opportunity.

6) Be patient.  If it was fast or easy you wouldn’t have it on your goal list in the first place.  If you know you get discouraged easily, try breaking things down into smaller more manageable chunks.  Reward yourself for the little victories and let them propel you forward.

I hope these help put you on the right track in setting and accomplishing your goals for 2012 and beyond. Lynn and I have found a lot of success in putting these tips into practice as we set our FlexPro goals. It’s a useful tool to refer to throughout the year and enables us to track our strengths and weaknesses in order to make adjustments to our business plan as the year unfolds.

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