At the turn of each year, I set goals for the coming year.
I also set quarterly goals throughout the year. These quarterly goals may be more specific, broken-down ways I plan to keep myself moving toward my annual goals. Or, it may be that some of my annual goals are for one season of the year, versus another.
I then like to make weekly goals for myself – which is, again, a way to keep myself moving toward those quarterly and ultimately annual goals but in the context of a given week.
Today, I want to share 3 specific tips on how to help you achieve your goals this year.
(1.) Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals
Regardless of whether I’m setting annual, quarterly, or weekly goals, I like to utilize the S.M.A.R.T. goal-setting technique.
S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym that stands for:
*S – Specific
*M – Measurable
*A – Attainable
*R – Relevant
*T – Time Bound
When making your goals S.M.A.R.T., remember to make them specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
For example, if your goal is to exercise or eat healthier, don’t just list “exercise” or “healthy eating.” Use the S.M.A.R.T. criteria and write your goals something like this:
I will exercise 3 times per week by walking 30 minutes a day.
I will eat one green salad per day at least 5 days of the week.
I will drink half my body weight in ounces (ie. if I’m 150 lbs, I’ll drink 75 ounces of water) per day.
Are your goals ones you can realistically accomplish? If not, change them so they are!
Are they specific enough that you’ll know when you’ve met them?
Are they relevant for now? Or perhaps for a later time?
Are they associated with a deadline or a time in which you expect to complete them?
(2.) Write Your Goals Down
That’s the next key – don’t just ponder the goals in your head, write them down.
For myself, I find written goals keep me on a forward moving track but are also subject to change as the year progresses, and that’s okay. Just make sure as you are going along, the changes you make keep you moving forward and stay S.M.A.R.T. at the same time.
Keep track as you go through the year, marking things off as you complete them, and/or making adjustments as needed to your list of goals.
(3.) Keep Your Goals in Front of You
One additional key to keeping your goals is literally keeping them in front of you!
I keep the file listing my annual goals right on my computer desktop so I can view it regularly. I see the file sitting there when I open my computer, and that alone is often enough to prompt me to click into them for review. It helps keep them in front of me – which is another key component to actually accomplishing them.
Similarly, with my quarterly goals, I write them on a sheet of paper and put it in a file folder on my desk that I access regularly (often weekly) so I can keep them top of mind.
Get Your Goals Going
As you move into 2014, how about writing out some S.M.A.R.T. goals for yourself and put them in a place you’ll see them regularly? It might be the fridge, the computer, a bulletin board – do whatever works for you!
What goals will you make for 2014?