The Holidays – Time to Focus on Your Goals

October 30, 2010 by Rose Cook

Halloween is here and you all know what that means…  It’s the official start of “The Holidays!”

At this time of year, it seems everyone is hurried and frankly, a little stressed too.  “Who is having Thanksgiving?”…”Do we travel this year for Christmas?”…”What will we get for your parents?”

Before life gets too crazy, I encourage you to take the next week or so to think about your personal goals for 2011.  I know it seems like a typical exercise for year end.  However, with the holiday bustle in December, will you really give it the attention it deserves?

Lynn and I just finished a few focused days of “2011 Strategic Planning” for FlexPro.  This included setting our 2011 goals.  What a powerful exercise!  We’ve committed to it every year since we started the business.  I can say with conviction that it’s contributed to our success thus far.

Our 2011 goals are written, printed, and prominently posted in the office!  I walk by them daily and get reminded which way I’m headed.

I love to tell the story about how (last year) my teenage son walked by my posted goals and said, “Mom, it’s after June 30th….did you hit your revenue goal yet?”   How’s that for motivation?  Hopefully, I’m teaching him a thing or two also.

So, here’s a thought.  If it works for business, why not apply it to our personal lives too?

Much has been written about the power of goal setting.  Search the internet and there are all kinds of studies…Harvard, Yale, you name it.  While the statistics are not clear, and there are debates on the validity of the studies, one theme is consistent…

Those people who set goals (AND write them down) are more likely to achieve them!  It’s that simple.

What are your personal goals?  Take your family to the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter?  Make more time for friends?  Commit to a weekly date night with your spouse?  Run a 5K this year?  Start some volunteer work?

How about financial goals?  Save more money?  Plan for kids’ college funds?  Get a financial advisor?

What do you want in your career?  Change jobs?  Start your own business?  Negotiate more flexibility?  Telecommute one day a week?

Step 1:  Think about your goals.
Step 2:  Write them down!  Be specific. Set a target deadline.
Step 3:  If you really want them to happen….TELL someone what they are.

There’s something extremely powerful about telling another person about a specific goal, especially someone you admire or trust.  Suddenly, you are accountable!

Sound scary?  Don’t worry.  Just do it.  If you don’t reach all the goals, no big deal.  Chances are you got close.  And, believe me, you’ll be ahead of 90% of the general population who didn’t set any goals in the first place!

A dear friend of mine (who happens to be a master goal setter!) gave me a business card holder with inspiring words that really say it all….”Laugh often.  Dream big.  Reach for the stars!”

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