As we enter the new year it’s important to avoid getting caught up in the negativity and bad news stories brought on by COVID-19. 2021 is a whole new year with a blank canvas to fill with exciting plans and dreams. Sure, some things are different and we may have to revise many plans that have been affected by the pandemic. January is a month that has always been full of optimism and it’s a great time to fuel our goalsetting and plans for the future both in our personal lives and in our careers. There are several tried and tested goal setting practices that are guaranteed to help you to succeed and to stay on track with your goals throughout 2021. Here is the list I compiled:
SMART Goal Setting:
The SMART Model Is great for goalsetting as it takes you through five structured steps to help you to succeed. SMART is a simple acronym that stands for:
- S=Specific – Be sure to use a positive and active voice when setting your goal, make your goal as specific as possible.
- M= measurable- ask yourself how will I measure my success when setting my goal.
- A= achievable- Is the goal that you have set achievable?
- R= realistic- is the goal and the tasks that you have set yourself around your goal realistic for your situation?
- T= Time-bound- for a goal to be successful it is important to include a time frame and perhaps some short term goals that support you in achieving your main goal.
By following the smart acronym you can check on an ongoing basis if your goalsetting activity is going well and is likely to be a success.
Creative visualization is a method of goal setting that I use regularly and find to be very effective. it will probably appeal to more creative people. Creative visualisation prompts us to visualise our goal or elements of our goal. The idea being that visual images have a positive and long-lasting effect on our memory. By reinforcing visual images of the things we wish for we are more likely to succeed in our quest for a successful outcome.
Make a list:
This message may seem old-fashioned now with all the modern technology available but simply having a notebook and pen to make lists of important goals can be highly effective. I like this method because it allows me to cross things off my list that I have achieved and to make new and updated lists regularly e.g. every Monday.
Keep a Goals journal:
Research shows that we are 40% more likely to succeed at something if we write it down. The goalsetting journal can be a really powerful tool when it comes to goal setting, somewhat similar to making a list but the goals Journal is more focused and can be used for more specific long term goals or projects
Celebrating the achievement of goals that we’ve already set can be a really powerful way to drive success in your future endeavours. Whether you are making lists, keeping a goals Journal or practising creative visualisation it is important to keep a record of your successes this will help you to plan and develop goals for other aspects of your life or work projects in the future.
Bill Gates once said, “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose “. Don’t be afraid to set goals that are somewhat out of your comfort zone, challenge yourself, be brave and success will come your way. Remember that it’s okay to fail – there’s always another opportunity. We learn as much or more from our failures as we do from our successes. If your planned goal doesn’t work out take a good look at the process which will help you to pinpoint areas for success and develop opportunities for improvement. This information will give you the blueprint to succeed in your next attempt.
Once you have decided on a method of goal setting that suits you the next step is to ensure that you have the motivation, energy, and support you need to succeed. Firstly ask yourself the question why is this Goal important to me?. The answer to this question points towards your motivation. The level of motivation needed to achieve your goal will be driven by how important achieving this goal is to you. Once you have established the level of importance of your goal you are now ready to focus on the process. In the words of Benjamin Franklin “fail to prepare, prepare to fail”.
All too often we fail In our attempts to achieve something because we don’t seriously think about steps that we need to put in place to ensure success. New Year’s resolutions are a good example – you might say I am going to get more exercise or I’m going to lose some weight. The intention is clear but the lack of structure in these types of statements rarely results in a successful outcome. By using the SMART tool our goal will be more specific i.e. how much weight I want to lose. There are many new smart technologies out there to help us with this type of goal setting.
Bringing a ‘Buddy’ or a ‘Coach’ on board to help you can be very useful when it comes to goalsetting. Holding ourselves accountable for assigned actions or asking somebody else to help us to stay on track especially when we encounter a challenge can be a game-changer.
Finally, I hope that this article is of some assistance to you if you are planning some serious goals for 2021. Wishing you health, happiness, and success throughout the year ahead.
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Janet Tumulty 7.1.21