From the BarryS Coaching Training Library


New Year, New Goals, New You

by Barry Stokes

Regardless of our hopes and dreams for the New Year we need to establish goals. Short, Medium and Long terms goals.

For our Goal Setting purposes let's stick with the year 2012 as our Goal Setting Canvas. In the year 2012, Short Term Goals may be 1 day, 1 week, 1 month into the future. Medium Term Goals may be 2 - 6 months into the future. And Long Term Goals would be 7 - 12 months into the future. Many businesses use the same terminology to describe 1, 3 & 5 - 7 year goals. We will stick with 2012 as our timeline.

It takes a minimum of 30 days to create a new habit so if our goal is to create a new habit the goal would have to be a minimum of 30 days into the future. How we successfully navigate from day 1 to day 30 is mostly dependant upon the details and follow through; the small, one-day-at-a-time baby steps we take along the path to reaching our 30-day goal; creating our new habit.

Our goals must be S M A R T -

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Specific Goals - the definition of a Specific Goal would be: What do we want to achieve? How will we achieve it? Why is it important? Clearly define the outcome we want. We will meet this Specific Goal on a Specific Date.

Measurable Goals - Establish concrete criteria for gauging success. Use actual numbers, target dates, or specific events to indicate when the goal has been achieved. Have a calculable yardstick or gauge to judge when the goal has been met.

Attainable Goals - Our goals should push us past our comfort point but we should still be able to attain them with effort and commitment.

Relevant Goals - Our goals should be important to us and the outcome should impact our life. Likewise, we should have the ability to directly impact the goals. Don't set goals that aren't significant or that we can't do anything to impact achievement. Are your goals Realistic?

Time-bound - Our goals should have a time element established. This will keep us on track and prevent us from simply pushing a goal off infinitely into the distant future. The goal should matter now and we should have a sense of urgency about attaining the goal.

So now we have a S M A R T Goal(s) written on paper. What is our next move?

The following tips may help with our goal setting:

  • Keep it simple - just a few sentences for each will be plenty. I call this KISS (Keep It Simple Stokes).
  • Write the goals down! "The discipline of writing something down is the first step toward making it happen." ( Lee Iacocca )
  • Post the goals in several obvious places; on the bathroom mirror, the refrigerator, in the car, etc.
  • Share the goals with others and ask for their help in keeping us on track with our goals.
  • Make a commitment to review the goals regularly.
  • Allow the goals to reflect our personal values. Let our sense of "inner purpose" guide us.
  • Visualize achieving our goal. See it, taste it, smell it. Feel your goal before it happens.
  • Use motivating, positive language when writing the goal.
  • Make the goals emotional. When describing the goal, use words that have an impact on us a person - energizing, compelling, inspiring words.
  • Reward ourselves along the way. Even small achievements deserve recognition.
  • Create goals for different increments of time (one week, one month, three months, one year, five years, ten years, etc.)
  • Make sure the goals are ours - not just what others expect of us. Personalize the goals! Take ownership of the goals.
  • Be sure to track your progress along the way.
  • Finally, don't beat ourselves up if we fall short for a day but rather learn and keep moving forward.

*credits to Office Arrow

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