With the New Year barely underway, many people are still contemplating resolutions and goals for 2016. All too often we set unrealistic goals, which only leads to frustration. In contrast, we shouldn’t set mediocre goals, leaving us unchallenged. Therefore, it is important to set “stretch” goals that create an attainable challenge, both personally and professionally.
Take a class to learn new skills; get up earlier so you can read more; take a vacation with your family; join a new group to extend your business network; outsource nonessential tasks so you can focus on growing your business; participate in shaping the culture at your workplace; or reduce the time spent each week in meetings.
It’s important to select a goal or challenge that aligns with your existing goals. While one goal might be obtained within a few months, others might actually be an ongoing pursuit. Once you have set your goal(s) take time to focus on the benefits that can be realized in your initial steps. Assessing the value of the immediate impact of the steps you take toward your goal can help you realize the importance of seeing your challenge to completion.
Analyze your current status, determine what you want to change or achieve, then chart your course. Ask yourself what you resources and skills will you need to meet your goal, and what habits will you need to change or develop. Record your specific goal(s), set deadlines or benchmarks so you can track your progress, and stay in a positive mindset.
Be sure to acknowledge your progress, and record any smaller goals you achieve on the way to your biggest challenge. Once you reach your final goal, take time to celebrate and reflect on both the achievement and the journey.
Remember, there’s no time like the present…don’t want until the next New Year to make more resolutions or set another big goal.
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