The last month of 2017 is upon us. Doesn’t it feel like just yesterday we were celebrating the New Year? Now it is time to start setting your goals for next year. Will 2018 be your best year ever?
It is important that you get started early so that you can begin to take action towards achieving your goals immediately. There are many benefits to setting goals, but the challenge for some people is actually sitting down and setting them. The process is foreign to them or maybe they have never formally set goals in the past. This year is the time to get started. It’s time to do it right.
Here are 7 Steps to Setting Goals for 2018:
- Schedule time on your calendar to look back on the past year. What gets scheduled gets done. You must find the time to begin setting goals. If you don’t have time, make time! It will be worth it. Be sure to set aside enough time and that you have limited distractions.
- Now that you have scheduled time, use it to reflect on the past year. The reflection time is imperative. It will help you get into the right mindset for goal setting. You may have to schedule more time over the course of a couple weeks for this. I encourage you to journal during this time. Try to answer these questions: What went right this year? Wrong? What would I like to do more of and less of? What’s missing in my life?
- Write down all you want to accomplish next in your life. This list can be as long or as short as you’d like. Try to stretch yourself with this and don’t think too small. This list should be easy after the journaling you did in the previous step and even easier if you have a running Dream List.
- Prioritize your list. What are the top 8-10 things you listed that you want to accomplish in 2016? Try to put them in order from 1 (most important) to 10 (least important of those numbered).
- From that list, write out 5-10 goals. These are things you are committed to accomplishing over the next year. Don’t set more than 10. That’s too many goals. Some of these may naturally go together so they can be combined. For example you may have something about losing weight and something else about going to the gym. Those should be combined. Your goal could be: I will live a healthier lifestyle in 2016. Your action steps would include something about losing weight (be specific) and going to the gym. Most of the time goals can be combined and simplified. Be sure to consult the goal setting rules listed in a previous post.
- Share your goals with someone else. Be careful with whom you share your goals with because some people may try to bring you down. You should share them with someone you fully trust. Someone who will challenge you, but won’t tear you down. A significant other works well or a good friend. Maybe share them with your coach or another mentor. It is important that you share them with someone, not just for the feedback but also for the accountability. Once you share your goals, you should be fully committed to accomplishing them. It is your responsibility, but it is always nice to have help, guidance and extra accountability.
- Create a final draft of your goals list. This draft should be fully written out preferably by hand )or you can type it and make it pretty if you prefer). Put it on display somewhere that you can see it often. I like to keep my list in the binder I take to meetings and in the bag I carry. I keep one in my night stand as well. My wife put hers on our fridge this past year. I thought that was a great idea. Make sure they are visible. You need the reminder.
So you have gone through the 7 steps and now you have a clean list of goals for 2018, now what?
It’s time to get started. Taking action is of course the most important part of the goal setting process. All of the steps listed above will be a waste of your time if you take no action towards achieving your goals.
Your goals are your personal commitments. Not to someone else, but to yourself! You have decided that they are important to you. Don’t let yourself down by forgetting about them. Or by giving up on them (unless you decide they aren’t worth it).
In order to move forward in a positive direction, you need clearly defined goals. It is your responsibility to determine where you want to go and to take the necessary action to get there.
Start by going through the above steps and by creating your list of goals for 2018. Stretch yourself and focus on how you can become a better person and leader. Take personal responsibility and Be the Boss of Your Life in 2018 and beyond. You CAN do it.
If you could use some help in setting better goals, I recently released a free 4 week course on goal setting. In the course I help you create a roadmap for achieving your goals and avoid some of the common mistakes people make when goal setting. Sign up below!