As we move into 2016, it is that time of year when we start personal goal setting for the year ahead. The importance of setting goals for yourself cannot be overstated, says Stuart Ross of Global High Growth. It is these goals which motivate us and keep us focused in tougher times.
“Goals. There’s no telling what you can do when you get inspired by them. There’s no telling what you can do when you believe in them. And there’s no telling what will happen when you act upon them.” – Jim Rohn
I often get asked for ideas and tips in this area, so here are my top 10:
1. Write them down. By writing down your goals you are showing personal commitment and declaring your intention to succeed, as well as helping to clarify your thinking.
2. Be specific. Write down goals that are specific, measurable and positive. Focus clearly on what you desire, not what you lack or want to get rid of from your life.
3. Have a time limit. Set a date by which you will have achieved each of your goals. Otherwise, it’s like starting a Rugby match without having agreed when the game is to end!
4. Focus on the benefits. Think through all the benefits of achieving your goals, and write them all down. This helps you clarify why they are important to you, visualise and feel what it will be like to achieve them, check how committed you are to working on them.
5. Identify options and obstacles. How many ways can you think of to achieve your goal? Evaluate the results and consequences of each. What could stop you or cause a problem? And what about subconscious obstacles? Complete this sentence several times to find out more – “I want to achieve (name your goal) but………”
6. Make a detailed plan. Having chosen your preferred way forward, identify all the actions you’ll need to take. This breaks a seemingly big task down into bite size chunks, enables you to plan what to do, prepare for problems, and reduces resistance to actually getting started.
7. Identify resources. What skills, knowledge, ability and contacts do you already have? What additional resources will you require? What changes do you need to make? Realistically review and assess this when making your plan, and ask for extra support as required.
8. Balance and fit. Check that all the areas of your life are in balance – if not, will your various goals make this happen? Will your goals support your long term plans and fit your ambitions, are they worthy of you, do they reflect your values? So while you are building that great career or business, ensure that you are also looking after your health, relationships, fun time, wealth and personal development etc.
9. Take action! Make a start. Actually take the first step you identified when you formed your plan of action.
10. Review and reward. Set some interim milestones as part of your initial strategy. This means you can check your progress regularly and see that you are moving in the right direction. And as part of this process acknowledge your achievements along the way and reward yourself for everything you accomplish. Celebrate!