Well it’s that time of year again! New Year and the resolutions that we set… I wrote recently about the benefits of setting goals in December rather than January, which you can read about here.

But if you were too busy with the Christmas shopping, deciding the menu and all the other trimmings that the festive season brings, then perhaps now is a good time to sit down and reflect for a moment.

Reflect on the past year – what goals did you set and which ones did you achieve? What made you successful? What made you unsuccessful?

Why is it important to set goals?

Setting goals is about taking control of your life as opposed to life just “happening” to you. Having a dream to follow, that you are actually working productively towards achieving, doesn’t mean you are not being spontaneous in life, but that you have a real purpose – something to aspire to. And enjoying the journey is every bit as important as the goal itself.

Many studies have been done on goal setting, indicating that people who set goals achieve not only higher performance levels and success rates, but also higher levels of self-motivation and happiness compared to those who don’t set any.

What is the difference between goals and objectives?

Goals are your long term aspirations.

Objectives are the steps you will take along the way.

There are generally three types of goals:

  • Time centred – although this is generally either short or long term, it can sometimes be both; for example learning one skill that will set you on the road to the bigger one and is therefore PART of the overall goal.
  • Focus centred – this is main deal, something you really want to do and are passionate about.
  • Topic centred – this may be related to your finances, career, family etc…Topic centred goals are aimed at improving this particular area of your life. It is important to focus on one area at a time, not several, if you want to be successful.

Focus and direction

Goals need to:

  • Excite you – they should be aligned with your WHY, your purpose in life.
  • Motivate you – they must have value to you, be important and relevant.
  • Be written down somewhere you can see them every day –post it notes on the fridge etc or make a Passion Board.
  • Have an action plan – so that you can implement things in stages and see success and progress along the way.
  • Have an end date – realistic but not too distant.
  • Be consistent – don’t chop and change and give up when the going gets tough – anything worth doing is worth doing well and done to the best of your ability.

Ready to set your sights on that target? Next week we will take a look at how to start setting your goals and how to create that all-important action plan so that you can be successful!