Everyone is talking about it and everyone has a New Year’s resolution. There is something about the New Year that inspires a time to begin again and have a fresh start.
Let’s look at some stats about goals. 40% of Americans set New Year’s resolutions, while only 8% of them actually follow through with those resolutions. (Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/dandiamond/2013/01/01/just-8-of-people-achieve-their-new-years-resolutions-heres-how-they-did-it/#5cda3bdf596b)
At WSCO, we are big believers in having goals whether they are at the start of the New Year or at any other time. As a company, our employees set goals both personally and professionally. Through this experience, there are a few things we’ve learned about setting goals and how to increase the chance you actually achieve them.
Find a plan that works for you and the way your mind works.
I have always loved the idea of a calendar planner for the year and having everything organized in one place.The way my mind works, I’ll start to use one but never keep up with it.Instead, I print off a calendar for the month from a word template and list everything for that month. I also use my phone calendar to make to-do lists daily.A new thing I am trying this year is a bullet journal to see if that will help my mind focus on tasks.The point is, there are thousands of resources on the web about goal setting and organization. Keep looking and trying things out until you find something that works best for you to help you stay organized and achieve your goals.
2. Make sure your goals are SMART – Specific, Measurable, Agreed Upon, Realistic, and Time Based.
Specific; don’t just say “I want a new job before the end of the year.” What field is your goal job in? What pay and benefits does your goal job have? What steps and deadlines will you follow to get there? Another popular example is “I want to eat healthy in 2018.” How are you going to eat healthy? Why do you want to eat healthy? How do I shop and meal prep to achieve this?
Measurable; be sure to have benchmarks towards your goal that you can hit that will indicate you are on track to achieve it.
Agreed upon; have an accountability partner to check in with if these are personal goals or have regular meetings with your boss to check progress if they are professional goals.
Realistic; in my opinion, this is the most important criteria for goals. Don’t set yourself up for failure! Keep in mind, you want these to be actual goals (not just something you will do anyway) but not so far out of reach there is no way you can attain them. If your ultimate goal is something really big, break it up into more manageable victories. Even if these occur over time, it will bring you closer to actually attaining the big one and you’ll feel accomplished along the way!
Time based; your goals should have deadlines. Without an end date to work towards, you will feel more inclined to put it off since there’s no real sense of urgency.
3. Work with someone.
Preferably, someone who knows you well and will help you set beneficial, realistic, and achievable goals.This person should also hold you accountable and check in with you regularly to help you stay on track.
Keeping these tips in mind and setting a plan is a great way to meet your goals and achieve success. It’s not just for the beginning of the year; you can set goals and be inspired anytime. Start today!