Effective Goal-Setting Tips for the New Year
Welcome to 2019! One of the best parts of turning the calendar is the realization that each year brings new opportunities. No matter how challenging 2018 might have been, you have the chance to hit the reset button, so to speak—to establish a new set of goals and find a fresh resolve to reach them.
To make the most of this opportunity, before you get buried in the post-holiday busy-ness, I’d like to challenge you to take some time and decide what you really want from this new year. From those desires, I encourage you to write down a set of goals and keep them before you through the year. If you’re between jobs or careers, finding a new position will likely be one of your primary goals—but whatever the goals are, writing them down and revisiting them will increase your chances of success for the year. Here are some tips for setting goals for 2019 that you can actually reach.
Set Goals, Not “Resolutions”
Let’s be clear: I’m not talking about making New Year’s Resolutions here. A resolution isn’t a goal—it’s more like a wish, a statement of intent or a hollow promise we make ourselves, typically without any substance or mechanism to help us carry it out. This is why 80 percent of New Year’s Resolutions fail by the middle of February. That does no one any good; in fact, it generally tends to make us feel worse about ourselves in the end. Don’t make empty promises to yourself; set tangible goals, preferably with a plan as to how you’ll reach them. It may sound like semantics, but psychologically speaking you’re much more likely to reach a goal than to keep a resolution.
Vague goals rarely get reached simply because the finish line isn’t clear. If your goal is to lose weight this year, how much weight loss would make you feel successful? If you want to earn more money, what does “more money” look like in dollars and cents? When you express a goal in vague terms, it’s not really a goal—it’s more like a dream. Setting specific goals helps us turn dreams into reality.
Set Goals that Stretch You
Some people set goals that are so easy to reach that they could do it in their sleep. That kind of goal won’t help you grow. Others set goals that are so unrealistic that they’re virtually impossible to reach; that kind of goal just sets you up for disappointment, and you’ll lose your resolve fairly quickly. I recommend finding a happy medium between these two extremes. Set goals that are challenging enough to make you grow, but still reachable with effort.
Make a Plan of Action for Your Goals
Setting goals alone isn’t enough—goals don’t magically fulfill themselves. You also need a plan of action, a set of benchmarks to help you achieve the goal. This is especially important for goals that stretch you, as mentioned above. For example, if you plan to lose 50 pounds this year, what changes will you make to your lifestyle and diet to help you lose that weight? How much should you have lost by April? By June? Try breaking the goal down into tangible steps or smaller portions with dates on the calendar by which to measure your progress. This helps keep you focused on the tasks at hand so you’ll be much more likely to reach those goals.
If one of your goals for 2019 is to land your dream job, I can help! For a free 15-minute consultation, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or give me a call at 646-320-1126. Working together, we can help you achieve that goal.