If you have already determined “What’s Next for You” this year, you may be thinking, “Okay, I’ve set the goal. I know exactly what my life-changing goal is for this year, but how do I make it happen? What are the keys to achieving that goal?
There’s ton of information available about goal setting. One of the most popular methods for goal setting uses criteria known as SMART. There are some slight variations to the SMART acronym, but basically a SMART goal is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-related. Once you have set the goal based on the SMART criteria, there are four other keys to consider that will enable you to get started, stay focused, and help ensure you reach your desired destination.
1. Find an Accountability Partner – Having someone you trust to help hold you accountable is key to the ongoing progress and your ability to reach your goal. This partner can be a friend, a colleague, or someone else you trust. If you happen to already have a professional coach, you have a built-in accountability partner.
2. Identify Resources – Proactively determine what you will need to accomplish this goal. Do you need more training, information, or connections with certain experts or professional organizations? Do you need more funds?
3. Document Your Plan – Most critical to the success of meeting your goal is the documented plan. Once you have the deadline established, think of every task and sub-task that needs to happen for you to reach this goal. If it’s project oriented, remember to account for all of the “what ifs” and the times during the year that you know you won’t have available to devote to the project. Once you have your plan documented, make sure it’s visible and you are referring back to it daily.
4. Determine What Behaviors Need to Change – Once you see on paper what needs to occur for you to reach your goal, think again about who you are and what might get in the way, or what obstacles you have faced past in the process of pursuing this goal. Are there any attitudes, beliefs, or habits that you have that are not beneficial to making this next great achievement happen? Figure this out, then determine what needs to happen to make the change.
Setting your goal is just the beginning. To succeed in reaching that critical goal that will significantly enhance your life, find your accountability partner; determine and collect your resources; document your plan and keep it visible; then determine what needs to change and how you will change it. To stay on track, think of these words from author and speaker John Maxwell, “Don’t ever be impressed with goal setting. Be impressed with goal getting.”