Psssst! Do you want to know a secret? Actually, these are well known strategies in achieving goals. By now you made your 2011 New Year’s Resolutions. What do you do now? Take some time to understand where you are as of January 1st. Whether it is a financial, personal, or business goal, I hope my approach helps you achieve your New Year’s Resolutions. The most important part of goal setting is periodic monitoring and adjusting your efforts to reach your goal. An aggressive or impossible goal can be made possible!
Check-up –In many ways, it is like going to the doctor. The doctors check your health based on normal standards or your past history. Look at where you are today; presuming it is the first of the year. If you are trying to lose weight, you need to know how much you weigh! If you are trying to pay off a debt or increase your portfolio, you need to know what your balance is on day one. Now you record the number and refer to it often. Develop daily tasks in conjunction with your weekly and monthly goals. For me, this is the most important part of the plan. Monitor and adjust weekly.
Goal Setting – Personally, I like SMART goals. S stands for specific. The more specific you can be the more likely you will be successful. For example, I want to lose 10 lbs is much more specific than I want to lose weight. M stands for measurable. When you monitor you goals you have to be able to measure your progress. Continuing with the weight example, 10 lbs. is very measurable. A stands for attainable. This is where you find the skills and overlooked opportunities to achieve your goals. In other words, this is when you create the steps to reach your goal. In order to lose 10 lbs., you should lose 1-2 lbs. a week. To do that, you would probably delete something from your diet and increase exercise. R stands for realistic. The essence of realistic is that you are willing and able to work towards the goal. Your goal should be a stretch, otherwise it is too easy. It is realistic, if you believe you can do it. 10 lbs to someone who weighs 90 lbs. may be unrealistic versus someone who weighs 200 lbs. is very realistic. T stands for timely. There must be a timeframe or context. Without a timeframe, there is no urgency. Losing 10 lbs. is easy if the timeframe is reasonable in 6 weeks, but nearly impossible in 7 days.
Planning – How do you get there from here? This is the road map to your goal. What are you going to do daily, weekly, and monthly to achieve your goal? Your plan should be detailed, almost a check list of what you need to accomplish each day to make progress to your goal. I accomplish everything I wanted because I have a detailed plan.
Performance – How effective is your action plan? Performance is your style or manner in which anything is accomplished. What separates success and failure is discipline and determination. How do you handle obstacles or a negative answer? Do you let things stop you from achieving results? These are your personal skills in achieving the goals.
Monitoring – Periodically, checking your progress is important. Adjusting your efforts based on the facts. This can be done daily, weekly, and monthly. It requires assessing what you are doing and making small changes and still meet your goal.
What is important in achieving your goals? They have to be clearly stated according to SMART goals, closely monitored and adjusted, and all the determination and discipline to achieve your goal. This may be a summary, but each part is very important to your success. The clearest goals cannot be achieved without a plan and the discipline and determination to succeed. You need all three to succeed. If you want to turn your resolutions into a success, you know what you need to do.
Photo By: David Boyle