Make your goals real
I have had some really positive feedback this week from people who have completed the 'Review your year workbook'. It is great to hear that this resource has helped with the process of review, and with setting goals for 2017.
So, you have spent time reviewing last year and have come up with some amazing goals for 2017. You are full of good intentions and you really do want to reach your goals.
But what happens next?
How do you make sure that your goals are not left in a drawer or lost under a pile of papers and forgotten about? What do you do when you are far too busy doing other stuff to focus on your goals!
Setting goals is just the start of the process.
It is not enough to just set goals, we need a clear plan of how we will keep focused and move forwards.
We need to form a plan which takes the actions required to reach our goals, and map out how and when these will be done. This plan needs to become an integral part of our monthly, weekly and daily actions.
This will ensure that we are actively working towards our goals which keeps them real.
Here are 8 Steps to achieving your goals
Step 1 - Get really clear on your goals
An important starting point is to go through a focused goal setting exercise. Spend time looking at the different areas of your life where you would like to make changes, set challenges or introduce new ways of working, and set your goals. But don't set too many goals or you will risk feeling overwhelmed. Aim for up to 3 goals to work towards.
Step 2 - Make sure your goals are SMART
Make sure that your goals are clearly defined and SMART - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time measured. Look at your goals and measure each one against the SMART outcomes. This will help you to check out how well defined each goal is.
Step 3 - Write down your goals
A really easy step, but very important one, is to write down your goals. The process of putting pen to paper is very powerful. If you can put the paper somewhere visible (your noticeboard, planner or diary/journal) this will help keep your goals real and prevent them getting left in a drawer!
Step 4 - Put your actions in your diary/planner
Work out the actions you need to take to reach each of your goals. Once you know the steps needed, work backwards from your deadline and write in the actions needed to get you there. Evidence shows that if you attach a date to a goal you are more likely to do it.
Step 5 - Be accountable
For your goals to really happen you need to be accountable. You need to be accountable to yourself but also to others. Telling someone your plans will provide someone for you to 'check in with' and also keeps you motivated. And remember, you are more likely to do something if you tell someone that you are going to do it!
Step 6 - Get support
Setting goals is great, but it can also be hard to stick to them at times. A vital step for success is to get support. Find trusted friends, significant other, colleague, mentor or a coach who can support you. Work out what support you need and find the relevant people to help you.
Step 7 - Review your progress
It is important to know how you are progressing towards each goal. Look back at the measures you identified when you set your goal and find ways of monitoring this. You can use monthly, weekly or daily checks to measure your results. Reviewing progress will keep you motivated, allow you to make changes if things are not working and, of course, know when you have succeeded.
Step 8 - Celebrate and reward yourself
This is so important. When you do achieve a goal, especially a really challenging one, reward yourself. Even better, plan your rewards before you reach your goal and use this for motivation. It really does work!
Setting goals in our personal and professional life is a really important process, but it does not end there. Goals need to planned if they are to become an active part of our lives.
Breaking goals down into specific action steps and forming a plan with deadlines, will ensure that the goals we set happen.
Take a few minutes to imagine the goals you would like to achieve, by this time next year, in your personal and professional life. Then, why don't you follow the steps outlined here, make a plan and achieve your goals!
If you haven't been through a goal setting exercise yet then why don't you download my free 'Review your year workbook'. This will help you start the process of review and goal setting. For more focused support, to set your goals, then check out my Review and Renew for 2017 - Strategy Session here.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog
My name is Diane Benson and I support busy professional women in their personal and professional development.
I am passionate about working with women to achieve more fulfilment in their lives. As an experienced coach, I provide support which will enable you to be more effective, reduce stress, build resilience and and achieve a healthy work and life balance.
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