Goal setting is perhaps the most important thing you can do to drive change and achieve success. By establishing a clear picture of what you want to achieve, you can decide what actions are most important to take to reach those goals.
Take Time to Reflect
When deciding what goals you would like to focus on, take time to reflect by asking yourself some of the following questions.
- What were your biggest achievements from 2022?
- What did not work well for you last year?
- What aspects of your life are you most satisfied with? What are you least satisfied with?
- What does success mean to you?
- What do you want your life to look like one year from now?
When setting goals for the new year, evaluate last year’s goals to identify what went well and what areas you can improve upon.
- If you achieved a goal too easily, make future goals more challenging.
- If a goal took too much effort, make new goals a little easier.
- If a goal proved unrealistic, make sure that new goals better reflect available resources, including time.
- If you lacked needed skills while pursuing a goal, make strengthening or acquiring those skills a priority.
- If you lost motivation, find ways to make new goals more engaging.
Creating SMART Goals
As you create your list of goals, be sure to write them down and evaluate whether they meet the SMART goal criteria.
- Specific: Does the goal clearly define the details of what you want to accomplish?
- Measurable: Does the goal clearly define how success will be determined?
- Attainable: Is the goal challenging, but possible?
- Realistic: Do you have the resources needed to complete the goal?
- Time-Bound: Does the goal include a specific time frame for which it is to be accomplished?
Once you’ve landed on your goals, write them in a place that is visible. That could be on index cards, a white board or chalk board, whatever works best for you. Once you are ready to start tackling them, break the goals down into small manageable tasks. Determine the time frame, resources needed, measurable results, and milestones for each task. Before you begin executing your tasks, identify potential obstacles ahead of time so you can make a plan to overcome them.