At the beginning of a new year, it’s common practice to plan out what you want to accomplish in the coming year. Often, people make resolutions and set goals that fall to the wayside after a few months or even weeks. That can lead to discouragement and shame, causing some to give up before they’ve even started.
So, how do you set goals that you will actually stick to? It can be a little intimidating when you’re starting out, but setting and achieving goals will boost your confidence, so you can achieve bigger and better things in the future. Here are some tips to help you set goals that are achievable this year.
Think About What Excites You
A good place to start when setting goals is to actually get excited about them. Consider what you are passionate about. How can you incorporate your interests into the goals you’re setting? What projects at work are you most motivated by? How can you put your passion behind them to make them better? If you start with what you love, you’ll be more likely to see it through.
Don’t be afraid to start small, if you need to. Keeping one small promise to yourself every day can build confidence and set you up for success. Apply this same rule to your goal setting. Set small, attainable goals that you’re excited about. When you accomplish them, you’ll feel empowered to accomplish a larger goal next time!
Set SMART Goals
You may have heard of SMART goals before if goal-setting is something you do on a regular basis. If you haven’t, it basically breaks down like this:
- Specific – Be as specific as possible when setting goals for yourself. Think about the five W’s (Who, What, When, Where, and Why). Include as much detail as you can so the goal feels tangible.
- Measurable – How will you know you’ve met your goal? What metrics will determine this? Make sure you define a way to measure progress.
- Attainable – Remember that you want to set goals that are realistic and you know you can accomplish. The point is to gain confidence through achievement. Make sure you have the resources and skills to reach the goals you’re setting.
- Relevant – When setting professional goals, make sure they line up with the values and mission of your business. Ask yourself, does this goal make sense? Is now the right time to focus on this? Is it in line with what you want to accomplish as a business?
- Timely – Give yourself a deadline. When do you need to accomplish it by? Is the timeline you’re giving yourself reasonable? Setting a timeline will help you prioritize as other projects come up in the day to day.
Write Down Your Goals
This may seem self explanatory, but write your goals down! Don’t just think about them and make a mental note. Write them down in a notebook or a spreadsheet or your Google calendar. Include the details you outlined in your SMART goals and make sure you keep them somewhere that is easily accessible to you. This will allow you to look back on your goals over the coming weeks or months. You’ll be able to track your progress and make adjustments to keep you on track. Writing down goals makes them more tangible and holds you accountable.
Set Mini Goals or Checkpoints
When you’re thinking about how to accomplish the goals you’re setting, it can sometimes help to set checkpoints to reach along the way. What are some smaller goals you can set that will help you reach your main goals? Checking these off as you go can help boost your moral and keep you motivated to see your plan through. Be specific with these and set timelines for when you want to accomplish them. It will keep you in the practice and ensure you’re staying on track.
Stick to The Plan
This is the most important part! Now that you have clear goals and a plan of how to accomplish them, you need to stick to it. There will inevitably be roadblocks that occur along the way, but don’t let this discourage you or cause you to give up. Try and anticipate what could go wrong and have a backup plan set it place. This way, you will be more prepared when issues do arise. Regardless of what happens, keep going! Don’t be afraid to make adjustments when necessary, if what you’re doing suddenly feels unrealistic. This is your plan. Own it and keep working towards it.
This practice can help you build trust with yourself, gain confidence in the workplace, and increase productivity. Just believe in yourself and follow these principles, and you’ll be on your way to accomplishing all of your goals for 2020.