Alright, we’ve all been here before. The holidays have come and vanished, along with your waist line (even though last year you *promised* yourself that you would never eat that much again – ever.) Ah, 2015 – you’ve planned for it to be a good year. You have lofty goals – your resolutions are really good this year! (Not like last year – this year is *different”.
Lots of people start out full of excitement, but all too often those lofty goals fall to the wayside. Why is this? To begin with, let’s look at the excuses we use to justify why our goals fail. Notice, that I did not say “the reasons” why our goals fail – I chose those words carefully.
– I don’t have time / I’m too busy
– I don’t have enough money
– It’s (insert someone else’s name)’s fault
– It’s too hard / harder than I expected
– I’ll do it later
– I don’t know how
– It’s just not “the right time”
– First, I have to
These are not reasons – they are the excuses, or stories that we tell ourselves so that we don’t have to face the reality that we failed, were out of integrity, or were lazy in the commitments we made to ourselves or our business.
Let’s talk about setting goals. You have to be SMART about your goals. SMART goals are:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Realistic
T – Timely
Don’t you just love acronyms?
Common Business Goals:
– Make more money (how much?)
– Generate more sales
– Meet more people (how many? / How?)
– Generate more leads
Common Personal goals:
– Lose weight (how much?)
– Save money (how much? / for what?)
– Be healthier (what does this look like for you?)
– Remodel the house (by when?)
– Learn to cook
What happens if you don’t meet your goals? It’s ok! Just take a realistic look at what happened, and set a new milestone date. Just don’t go back to the excuse list!
If you don’t respect yourself or hold yourself in high enough regard, why should other people? Learn to keep your commitments to yourself first, and then you will be better prepared to deal with the commitments to others in your life – your clients, family, and employees. What how others start regarding you, you when you take yourself seriously.
What if you really don’t have time? Oh right…you’re *different*. The truth is, that everybody has time for the things that are important to them. If you don’t have time, the maybe it just isn’t really a priority for you (and, that’s OK!). If someone offered you a million dollars to do something you “don’t have time to do,” would you find time?
Keys to accomplishing your goals:
– Write them down – tape them to your wall, or carry them in a notebook. Look at them every day.
– Tell other people – enlist others in helping to make you accountable. When you enroll other people in the exciting things that you are doing, you create a system that works for you in the background. When others are excited about what you are doing, or believe in your cause, they tell other people, who tell other people, and then all of a sudden, someone knows someone who knows someone who will be willing to help you out, or knows how to help you accomplish your goal.
– Ask people for help – don’t assume people know what you want or need. Try being direct it’s a rare trait these days.
In conclusion – being SMART about your goals, is the key to achieving them. Setting specific goals, and having a plan, will make this year the best ever!