Personal Goal Setting: How to Set Goals for the New Year

Personal Goal Setting_ How to Set Goals for the New Year-315

Planning for the New Year ahead includes making resolutions for many, many people. But setting goals is an even more powerful way to set your course for the future.

While making resolutions and establishing goals may seem like the same side of the coin, there are differences. While a goal determines a course of action that you follow over time, resolutions represent a great intent – but one which often fades quickly when the results aren’t instantaneous.

Moreover, by taking baby steps along the way as you work toward your goal you experience the sense of accomplishment that comes with successfully making each step.

Here’s a look at how to set goals now that will provide focus and a path to follow in 2018.

1. Take a personal inventory

Before you decide where you want to go in the future, it’s essential to determine how you feel in the present. What’s your current satisfaction level with your life? Take a few hours to evaluate and reflect while developing the foundation for where you want to start.

2. Think about what you’d like to add to your life

It’s helpful to change your focus from the behaviors and habits you want to get rid of to the healthy, productive actions you want to add. For example, instead of saying you want to stop eating unhealthy food, focus on eating more healthy food instead.

3.  Define dreams and goals

Once you’ve done a personal inventory, take some time to write down your dreams and goals. And it’s not about what you already have or what you have done, but what you truly want. Everyone has dreams, and your task is to uncover those that mean the most to you. Write down all of your dreams, no matter how outlandish they may seem. What thoughts and dreams excite you the most? Once you’ve written them all down, prioritize them by order of importance.

4. Make S.M.A.R.T goals

You may have heard of the acronym S.M.A.R.T. before, but it stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-sensitive. Once you’ve dreamed big and prioritized your goals, make sure that they fall into all of the categories:

• Specific – Be specific about your goals. Incomplete goals produce incomplete futures.

• Measurable – Make sure that your goals are specifically measurable.

• Attainable – Don’t set your goals so high that they’re unattainable.

• Realistic – Your goals have to be real in your current life situation. There’s nothing wrong with setting big goals, but they need to be realistic, too.

• Time – You should always attach a timeframe to every goal. One of the great things about goals is that they have an end and you’re working toward accomplishing them in a specific period. There’s nothing wrong with breaking bigger goals down into smaller goals with different timeframes.

5. Always keep your goals where you can see them

Once you’ve written down your goals, make sure they’re somewhere you can easily see them – whether they’re in a notebook, a part of your screen saver, or on post-it notes that you place around your house.

Most of us have made New Year’s resolution at some time in our lives. Setting goals, however, often have more impact and define your journey ahead. And now’s the time to establish your goals for 2018.

Goal Setting for Businesses: How to Set Goals for the New Year

Goal Setting for Businesses_ How to Set Goals for the New Year-315

For many people, setting goals is as much of a part of the holiday season as family gatherings and giving thanks. The same is true of businesses, who have an eye on the future while putting the finishing touches on 2017.

While holiday goal-setting often is associated with resolutions, it can run deeper than a desire to lose weight or start a fitness program – especially when it comes to running a business. For one, resolutions may fade quickly, while business goals should involve a detailed plan that’s actionable and trackable.

The following are suggestions for ways to set next year’s goals now for your business or enterprise.

1. Start by eliminating the “shoulds”

Instead of feeling sorry for things you haven’t done this year, focus on what you want to accomplish in the coming year instead. Goals fueled by guilt are less likely to be successful. They’re also more likely to trigger emotional reactions that prompt you to make decisions you normally wouldn’t.

2. Dream it

A great place to begin goal-setting is to consider everything you dream of accomplishing. It doesn’t even have to be overly-realistic, but it is essential to consider every possibility. Write down where you want to be in the future – one year from now, five years, ten years, etc. – and don’t exclude any idea, big or small.

3. Brainstorm

Once you’ve written down your dreams, it’s time for a brainstorming session to further flesh out your plans while also accessing others that may lurk in your sub-conscious.

4. Opt for guidelines

Setting hard and fast rules when setting action steps for your goals is sometimes counter-productive because business owners and individuals often abandon goals when they break the rules early in the process. Instead, set guidelines or policies that may be adjusted if you modify your goal.

5. Focus on today while planning ahead

Break down your goals into smaller chunks so that they don’t seem too overwhelming. You don’t want to lose sight of the big picture. However, taking each goal a step at a time enables you to build momentum and confidence.

6. Possible goals for your business

Here are some goals you can set for your business in the New Year:

Improving your social media and digital presence

If your website is outdated or your web presence isn’t mobile-friendly, or if you don’t have a content strategy, now’s the time to get started.

• Managing and improving your cash flow more effectively

This is a great goal if you’re a small business owner who experiences dramatic ebbs and flows in your cash flow, or who hasn’t created enough capital to invest back into the business.

• Become a better communicator

A lack of communication is often the reason for misunderstandings among employees, low employee morale, or time wasted in repeating the same message.

• Learn to delegate more

Shifting some of your workload and letting others pick up the slack is crucial if you have so much on your plate that you can’t focus on growing your business.

The bottom line is that now is the best time to set goals for the coming year. By following a plan that’s actionable and includes all of your dreams – big or small – you’ll have a better chance of helping your business become what you’ve always envisioned.