January 2010: 2010 GREAT GOALS
We're already almost a month into 2010-the first year of a brand new decade! ...and by now some of your New Year's Resolutions are probably broken! So why not start over and think about what you really want to accomplish this year-in both your professional and your personal life.
Let's start by reviewing 2009. List the 10 best things that happened to you last year: completed a big project, sold a big account, won an award, learned new skills, attended special family events, lost weight...anything good you can think of. It's important that you do this step first.
Then let's look at the things 'that didn't go so well': failure to hit your performance goals, bad habits still not gone, sickness, sadness. Take a moment to look over this list and evaluate how many of those were mostly under your control. If you're like me, probably most of them.
So now what? It's time to create a terrific next year for you! Imagine it's December 31, 2010 and as you look back, you realize that 2010 was not just a good year...it was a great year! Look back on all that you achieved! Take a few minutes to write down what you would be proud and pleased to say that you achieved in 2010. What stretch goals did you hit? What did you improve? What "bad" things did you fix or eliminate?
Be very specific as you create this 2010 Great Goal Plan. When you're done, ask yourself this question, "If I really accomplished all of (or most of) these things would I be proud, confident, happy...and just plain better overall? These are the great things you're predicting can happen for your business, for your family, for your friends and community and for yourself.
Now some of us are born compulsive goal setters (I'm one of them. I started making "To Do" lists when I was 5. Each one started with #1: "Get up"-so I had at least one thing I could check off everyday!) In my adult years I have gotten even more structured. After I set my yearly goals, I create quarterly, monthly and weekly goals. If you are inclined in this direction there are now even software programs that can help you with this type of goal setting process (mygoals.com or goalmaker.com). I (and others who have researched the goal-setting process) do happen to believe that if you write down your goals and tell at least 'some other people' what they are, you have a stronger chance of achieving them.
If, on the other hand, this type of goal setting would drive you nuts, no need to worry. Our incredible brains help us out. Apparently once we think about something we want to accomplish, the part of our brain called the "Reticular Activating System" goes on alert and keeps sending us reminders about what we said we wanted to accomplish and directs us to resources that can help us.
Up until now, I've described this goal setting process as one that you can use for your individual goals. Why not use it with your team at work-or your family. The first year I introduced goal setting to our daughter was in January 2004. I asked Carylyn, who was an 8 year-old at the time, what she wanted to do or learn in 2004, and she blurted out, "Learn how to play Pokemon". And so we got the cards and the instructions, and so she did. A 14 year old now, Carylyn is a competitive swimmer and with her coach each season she sets her goals. In fact, this past Varsity Swim Season she received the "Most Improved Girls Swimmer Award". After the banquet Carylyn told me that she hadn't told anyone, but that she had set that as her goal in August when the season started. She proved my earlier point that even if you want to keep them a secret from others, just telling yourself your goal helps you to achieve it!
A word of caution as you proceed on your Great Goals Journey -just like the adage "Don't look backwards", I strongly believe that if we only look and work forward we'll miss the wonderful moments of today.
Actions for Results: Tips & Tools for Achieving Great Goals!
Identify Your Successful Achievements: Analyze past goals and milestones that you have successfully completed. Write out your "Patterns of Success" (e.g., what happened at each step along the way). Make sure you repeat them.
Don't Live in "The Gap": When you set aspirational goals, it is easy to focus on the obstacles and the effort it will take to bridge the gap between your goals and current reality. Instead, keep focused on progress to springboard you to the next level of achievement.
Pay Attention to Unexpected Gems: As you pursue your goals you may encounter opportunities that you could not have anticipated. Pursue them, particularly if they are aligned with your longer-term goals.
If you would like more information about our Team Goal Setting or Goals for Life Programs, please contact Jeanine Tucciarelli at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy New Year!!!