The tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goals to reach.”

Benjamin Mays

Tick tock…

The year is fast coming to a close. Don’t know about you but I feel like 2016 was on a singular race to end as quickly as possible.

If you’re like me, a part of you is dreading this because you still have a number of things you are yet to finish. I still have a ways to go on my to-do list and annual goals. Right now, I’m working (furiously) on these so I can go into the New Year with an almost clean slate. 

Are you in a similar situation?

In our haste to finish out this year in style, we may not have sufficient time to plan for the New Year and may end up feverishly scribbling away on the 31st of December (just before the clock strikes), all that we think and hope to achieve in the New Year.

But, we both know this is really not a good way to set goals. There is every possibility that setting goals in this manner will be an unwelcome invitation to not achieve it.

To avoid any potential horror stories, how about we do things differently this time. I think it will be a good idea for us to talk about our goals and what we hope to achieve in the New Year. If you will like a more intimate discussion, you can join my email list.

Your ‘why’

Let’s start with our ‘why’.

Goal setting gives us a chance to be intentional about our growth and plans. It is also a way to authenticate our dreams and vision. We all have hopes and dreams. Some may be small and achievable while others may seem big, intimidating and impossible.

You know that clichéd question that goes like this: where do you see yourself in 2, 5 and 10years? I use it a lot and while it’s been overused, I still think it’s an important question.

I started setting intentional goals a few years ago and I can honestly tell you that it changed my life for the better. While I am far from achieving all my goals I’m so grateful for the progress I’ve made.

What are those things you’ve always wanted to achieve? Here is your chance to figure out your ‘why’. You can sign up for the worksheets to help you work on setting personal and achievable goals for the New Year.

How to set achievable Goals
It may be sacrilege to talk about setting goals without referring to SMART Goals. The original use of this term was possibly made by George T. Doran, in the November 1981 issue of the Management Review.

The SMART goals are an acronym that provides key guides or components to test our goals. The meaning of some of the words have changed over the years, I have defined mine as:

S – Significant(&specific)
M – Measurable
A – Agreed upon
R – Realistic
T – Timely

As I mentioned earlier, the foundation of goal setting is in determining your ‘why’. This helps us pinpoint the areas we should focus on. After which, we can move on to consider the other key components such as what resources we need to achieve the goal, how to measure the goal and make sure that it is within our power to achieve.

For instance, while you may want a promotion at work, it will usually not be up to you to make it happen. The decision will rest with your boss or management.

Other prerequisites we could consider are to carry out periodic evaluations and reviews of the goals to ensure that they are still workable.

Goal Mapping
Goal mapping is the process of practicalizing the goals. I have divided this process into three steps.

1. Set a goal
You will need to set a goal that is specific, sensible and significant. Your goals have to be personalized, it should be tied to things that you want and need not based on what you believe others expect of you.

2. Write it out
Write out your plan of attack (how you wish to achieve it), which may mean breaking the big goals into smaller and periodic goals. If you plan to save a particular amount of money by the end of the New Year, it will usually be more effective to set a monthly target (divide the sum over 12 months).

Are you looking to buy a car, travel, improve your skills or move to a different area? How about you quantify how much you will need to make this happen and set a realistic timeline to achieving it.

3. Act
You have got to put your words into action. Ready? You can sign up to use the worksheets to help you get you started.

Why you should set big goals

strive-for-the-big-scary-and-impossible-goals-you-will-be-glad-you-did-once-achieved

Don’t be afraid to reach for the skies. Why limit yourself? You have everything it takes to achieve your dreams and more.

While I know these should be within the bounds of the SMART goals and other goal setting prerequisites, there is a need to be ambitious with your plans.

When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the actions steps.”

Confucius

I couldn’t have said that better. These ancient philosophers and writers really understood the way of things.

So, are you ready to set those goals? Great, here are worksheets to get you started.

Start now
I know you are looking forward to the New Year. It’s a chance to start afresh with all the optimism to carry you through the triumphs, successes and expected difficulties in the year. But one key step for you today is to start now.

Don’t wait for the next day, week or month. There’s nothing like the present. Channel that enthusiasm and energy in a way that your future self you will be forever grateful. I definitely plan to do so(fingers crossed).

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