Well, 2012 is now upon us and many have undoubtedly contemplated their goals for this upcoming year.
We’ll be the first to admit we’re happy to see 2011 behind us – no offense to those who were born or treasured 2011, but as each year goes by, the economic outlook looks increasingly brighter, thus giving hope to small business owners and entrepreneurs who rely on our economy to survive.
It doesn’t matter if you’re on unemployment, living paycheck to paycheck or doing exceptionally well, goals are an important part to helping you better yourself and your situation.
There are many books and articles about how to set goals, staying motivated, etc. but, like many things in life, goals and goal setting can be turned into a complicated, commercial ordeal. Let’s forget a lot of the hype and over-analyzing and simplify things.
While I’m no expert in the traditional sense, here are two things I follow when setting goals which has allowed me to get where I am.
Step 1: Break your goals into smaller, incremental goals with a plan on how to achieve them.
The first step to setting (and achieving) your goals is to set smaller, incremental steps which lead to your main goal(s).
What does this mean?
Let’s consider Bob. Bob is a person who stated, among other things, his goal for 2012 is to lose 50 pounds. For those who have tried to lose weight at some point in their life, know it can be very difficult and gets harder as we age.
What’s wrong with this goal? There’s nothing “wrong” with it, it’s just very broad and doesn’t outline the steps Bob will take to achieve his goal.
Bob should break down this goal into smaller, incremental steps. Instead of stating a goal of “losing 50 pounds this year,” change it to “exercise 4 times a week” or “lose 5 pounds by Valentine’s Day.” By doing this, you’re accomplishing two things:
1) By breaking down your goals into smaller, incremental goals, you stay focused. You have a game plan on how to achieve your shorter term goals, all while working to achieve your main goal.
2) The feeling of success when achieving your smaller goals will help keep you motivated.
It’s easiest for people, including Bob, to give up on their goals when they become frustrated from their perceived lack of result or progress.
Step 2: Write your goals down.
This may seem tedious but it’s important. Write your goals down on paper. Put the paper up where it’s visible for you to see every day. This acts as a visual reminder for yourself and, if you post your goals where others can see it, then this helps because this puts you and your goals in the spotlight where people will be watching and encouraging you. Telling (positive) people about your goals will keep you motivated and give yourself more motivation to complete your goals.
Without writing your goals down, they’re just wishful thinking.
So, what are you goals for 2012? No matter what they are, break them down into increments, outline a plan on how to achieve them and write them down.
Good luck and let’s all look forward to a prosperous 2012.