Do you feel like you are constantly busy, but not making any progress on your priorities? Have you already abandoned your New Year’s resolutions? Perhaps you started off with a lot of motivation, but it’s now faded. You’re not alone. A quarter of people abandon their New Year’s resolutions after just one week. And yet, there are lots of people out there crushing their goals – losing weight, growing their profits, developing hobbies, investing in their relationships with their spouse and kids; and so on. What are they doing differently?
Commit goals to writing. Connect goals to daily actions.
If you want to follow through on your goals, you need to commit them to writing and connect them to your daily actions. Setting goals is a form of casting vision. Without clear vision and goals (for your business and your life), you don’t know what to prioritize. Without connecting your goals to your daily actions, you forget what those priorities are and default to your current habits.
I operated this way for many years. I set New Year’s resolutions but didn’t change my habits. I set annual or quarterly career goals, but then got caught up in the day-to-day work. Then, a few years ago, I finally realized how important goal setting (and achievement) is to my success as a leader and as an individual.
Here are 3 simple steps to get you started:
- Decide where you’re going and who you want to become. Regardless of your current situation, you likely have hopes and ambitions of ending up somewhere different. It could be related to your physical health, your finances, your business, or any number of other life domains. Identify which of those areas you want to make progress in over the next year.
- Determine your priorities with a written list of goals. We recommend writing each goal to include the seven elements of the SMARTER framework developed by Michael Hyatt and the team at Full Focus. This includes:
- Connect your goals to your daily actions. Now that you have your goals written down, develop a habit of reading them often. I read my goals each day as part of my morning routine and on Friday afternoons when I plan my week ahead. This keeps these priorities rooted in my mind, allows me to track and celebrate my progress, and prompts me to identify and schedule my next steps.
If you’re stuck on step one because you don’t know what you want, or you want to do it all, do not despair. You can start with this free LifeScore Assessment from our friends at Full Focus. I complete this assessment every year before I set my goals. You can use your assessment results to determine which goals you want to prioritize.
Then you can write your goals using the SMARTER framework and establish a routine of reading your goals, monitoring your progress, and scheduling your next steps. When July rolls around and sixty percent of people have long since given up on their New Year’s resolutions, you’ll be celebrating your achievements and writing your goals for the next quarter!