I am one of those coaches who are not urging clients to set their goals on the 1st January. A lot of people are still in the Christmas spirit, others are still hungover from the New Years celebrations. It takes time, effort and energy to look at the last year and the year ahead with the distance before scheduling the goals.
Also if we take a bit of a slower approach, chances are that our goals will be accomplished and not forgotten after 2 weeks because we have rushed into it. That’s why we have many people rushing to the gyms in January but how many of them keep going to the gym also in February? We need a plan, we need the intention, we need to take the time to realise what is important for us this year, what is a must, nice to have and what are other things that can be done even the next year.
Here are the stages of successful goal setting:
- Evaluate the last year.
- Select your habits
- Goal setting for the next year.
- Evaluate last year. Before we jump with eagerness into the next year it is essential that we look back and ask these questions: What were my 3 biggest accomplishments? What were my 3 biggest pleasant moments? What were my 3 biggest lessons learned? What 3 things did not go the way they were planned? What 3 things surprised me?
By answering these questions you evaluate your year and prepare for the next one with more awareness, confidence and increased chances that you will achieve your goals.
- Our habits lead to who we are at the end of each day. It is what you believe in and what you do everyday that is moving closer to your goals or not. Whether it is replying to messages the same day, reading again through the email before you send it or applying a face mask every week. What you do regularly and sometimes automatically (on “auto-pilot”) shows your value and what kind of person you are. So reflect on these questions. What 3 habits do I want to continue doing this year? And how? What 3 habits do I want to stop doing this year? And how?
- Now is the right time for the goal setting. The last year has been reviewed, habits have been set and so we are ready to look into the future - by covering past, present and the future. First choose your major areas like finances, relationships, work and health. Decide on 1 result (main goal) you want to see by 31st December. Questions like “How do I want to feel?”, “Who do I want to be in contact with?” and “What do I want to focus on” are great additions to the quantitative and qualitative goals you will be setting. Divide the year into 4 quarters and write down 3 goals in each of these areas you want to achieve each quarter so that you accomplish your main goal at the end of the year. You can add more quarterly goals if needed but do not overdo it. The next step is to break down quarterly goals to monthly goals and then schedule activities you need to do every week to complete them. Execute and monitor your goals every day, eliminate distractions (like phone and news) and work on your energy level. Remember to reward yourself for every small win, for every milestone that you hit to give yourself a tap on your back and also to gain momentum. Small wins and rewards can move you miles forward!