A new year is upon us (can you believe how quickly the last year flew by!) and with it comes the tradition of goal setting. Many of you have likely set personal resolutions for yourself, and perhaps a few for your business as well. The tradition of setting goals at the New Year is a great one, but ineffective for most people. In fact, 92% of New Year’s goals fail by January 15.
To be part of the 8% (and to help that small percentage grow), approach your goal planning differently this year. The first step is writing your goals down.
It may sound like an insignificant step, and that’s probably why only three out of every hundred adults in America take the time to write down their goals. But studies have shown that people who write down their goals are 50% more likely to achieve them.
As you go about setting goals in the workplace and in your personal life, make sure that your goals are actionable and have real time constraints. For example, simply writing down “lose weight” doesn’t provide you with any sort of plan for achievement, which makes the goal feel much more lofty and hard to accomplish.
Instead, try giving yourself the goal of going on four 3-mile walks every week. Or you can have the goal of not eating any meat on Wednesdays and Fridays. These goals are actionable, realisitic, and have time restrictions, giving you a clear path toward achieving your ultimate aim.
Take the same approach with your workplace goal planning. Write down the big goal that you want to achieve (e.g. improving sales by 8% this quarter), then write down the actionable steps you can take toward achieving that goal (e.g. cold-calling five potential new clients every day). You should also write down all the potential roadblocks that could get in your way (e.g. losing a big existing client), and steps you can take to remedy or prevent those obstacles (e.g. taking one big client out to lunch every week).
Other things you can do to help improve your chances of success are sharing your goals with a trusted friend or colleague. Let them know what you want to accomplish and when. Then ask them to check in with you regularly about your progress. Being accountable to another person will help you stay honest in the pursuit of your goals.
You should also write down positive affirmations that will help you stay focused and motivated as you work toward your goals. Affirmations that work for you might be positive sayings or quotes from famous business people. Here’s one to get you started:
What you get by achieving your goal is not as important as the person you become in its pursuit.