Contributed by Renée Bellefeuille, RP®, It’s hard to believe another year has come and gone. Of course like most people, I keep asking myself where this past year went. I am thinking about the upcoming year and what I would like to accomplish. Reflecting on 2013, I know I did not meet all the goals I set for myself, but I did make progress. I know I also learned from my mistakes and that is important to me.
Rather than focus on the past I prefer to start working on my goals for 2014. I gave up making resolutions years ago and prefer setting goals. I find goal setting interesting and rewarding. There are thousands of books and websites set up to assist in goal setting. A few of my favorite quotes on goal setting are:
“Success is steady progress towards one’s personal goals.” Jim Rohn
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” Anthony Robbins
“You’ll fail at a 100% of the goals you don’t set.” Mark Victor Hansen
I set up goals in for the following areas of my life: Health, Financial, Career, Personal, and Spiritual. These are the areas that I set up for myself most years. Some years I may have a few more categories such as Community or Family. I usually set one important goal for each of these areas. This seems to work best for me rather than setting up multiple goals for each area. If I have too many small goals, I tend to accomplish less.
Over the years, I have learned that it is important to make a goal S.M.A.R.T. This stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time Bound. Without using the S.M.A.R.T. system I have found that my goals were vague and lacked in purpose. Additionally, I tended to procrastinate, thinking I have all year to accomplish my goals.
I find it important to write goals down and in positive affirmative way. For me written goals are like a set of instructions for my subconscious to carry out. Thoughts become tangible when written down. Once my goals are written, I put them someplace where I will see them on a regular basis, like next to the calendar on my bulletin board. I regularly review my progress, for me a monthly review works well. If during one of my reviews, I realize I am not making the progress I would like to make towards a particular goal I start to make some changes in my daily activities. I’ll ask myself if what I am doing takes me closer to or furthers my goal. If it does not, I will reconsider what I am doing.
I’m not sure if setting goals are as important to others as they are to me. If you are working on your goals perhaps some of the techniques I use will be also be effective for you.
Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2014!