New Year is the most common time for setting goals. It is also the most common time for being fixated on our failure to achieve them. It seems to me that New Years Resolutions now walk with connotations of failure. Who wants to start their year riding on the coat tails of failure?

So lets take a look at how to set a really great goal. One that you can succeed at and build a foundation of success for yourself.

  1. State your goal in positive terms. That is, what you want (not what you don’t want). There is a vast difference between the two. Think about it. How do you feel when you contemplate the statement “I want to feel calm about going to work”? Now think about “I don’t want to feel stressed about going to work”. The brain focuses on the information we feed it. If we feed it a desire for calm then it will focus on calm. If we feed it a desire not to do stress, then it will shortcut that and simply pay attention to stress. Much like you found as you considered the two statements.
  2. Be Specific. What will you see, hear, taste, touch or smell when you achieve your goal? Sounds weird I know but building a rich picture of what achieving your goal looks like will build a rich picture for your mind to hook onto. For example, If your goal is to increase your running pace, then you might picture yourself running in a particular setting that you usually run in. Now add to that picture what you see around you – e.g. blue sky, green grass; what you feel – strong muscles in your legs powering you forward; what you hear – birds, the sound of your feet on the ground and so forth. Create a rich tapestry for your mind.
  3. Resources. What resources do you have that will help you to achieve your goal? These can be skills, knowledge, other people. Also consider what might be missing that you may need to outsource or up skill.
  4. Ask yourself. How does the goal fit with what you value in life? Is the goal achievable? e.g. are you being realistic? What will you gain by achieving it? What might you lose by achieving it? e.g time with friends/family. Is it right for you in all aspects of your life?  How might it affect your relationships, health etc? If  the doing of a goal turns you away from what is important to you, then consider whether it is the right goal for you.
  5. What will let you know that you have achieved your goal? Some examples are, “I will cross the finish line of the race on such and such a date”. Or “the business with make x amount of turn over by such and such a date”

Great goals can bring great results. So why don’t you give it a go this year, get smart and succeed!

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