Happy New Year! If you are a new subscriber, welcome! As the month of December came to a close, many people began to think about their New Year’s resolutions. By mid-January, many of those same people will have already broken their resolutions. For me, the only way to stick to a resolution is to have a defined goal with a set of action steps needed to reach the goal.
According to Wikipedia, success may be defined as the achievement of an objective or goal or the opposite of failure. Since I like to look at things with a glass is half-full mindset, I prefer to define success as the achievement of a goal. Whichever definition suits you however, you must have an end objective in order to determine if you have succeeded or failed in reaching your goal. This newsletter will offer my ten tips for reaching your goals in 2012 so you may look back upon the year with a feeling of accomplishment.
1. Determine your personal definition of success.
2. Choose one or two areas for your personal or professional life in which you would like to reach a goal. I caution you against choosing more than two areas of change. Changing habits and reaching goals is not always an easy process.
3. Write the goal(s) down using positive, specific language with a timeframe for reaching the goal. For example, I will save $1200 by December 31, 2012 – $100 per month.
4. Create a mind-map with the goal as your center topic. On a blank sheet of paper draw a circle in the center of the paper. Write your goal in the center of the paper. Draw lines extending out from the center circle and write action items you will need to complete in order to reach your goal. Using my example above, I may include make coffee at home (instead of stopping at Starbucks every day), bring lunch from home (instead of eating out), rent DVDs (instead of going to the movie theater), etc…
5. For each action item in #4, jot down items to help you complete the action item. For example, under “bring lunch from home” I might include look through magazines and cookbooks for interesting lunch ideas, purchase re-usable containers, make lunch the night before, etc.
6. Think about what stumbling blocks might keep you from accomplishing the goal and create a plan for conquering the stumbling blocks. Using my example above, a stumbling block may be: no appetizing food to take for lunch. In this case, a little planning may be needed in order to purchase lunch items while grocery shopping or planning for leftovers.
7. Re-visit your goal weekly, modify if necessary. Create a checklist of mini-goals and reward yourself for reaching those mini-goals. For example, I might treat myself to an hour of reading before bed (instead of doing something more productive like washing dishes or paying bills).
8. Enlist the help of others (family members, friends, professionals) for encouragement and to keep you on track.
9. Forgive yourself for minor setbacks. Re-visit your goal, the actions steps needed to reach the goal, and get back on track.
10. Once your goal is reached, congratulate yourself!
I would love to hear your success stories in reaching your goals!