Goodbye 2021 and hello 2022! As we bring in the new year, the hot topic on everyone’s minds is New Year’s resolutions and self-improvement. Whether you are setting personal goals or ones for your business, the following guide can get you started.
Consider starting with the steps below before jumping into goal setting:
Identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and how each will impact your goals and your action plan. Conducting a SWOT analysis is helpful if you have had a major shift in your business or are in a transitional period in your career.
If you are making goals for your business, research your competitors to get a benchmark for things like income averages or expenses. Based on these benchmarks, you can assess your company’s performance to gain insight into setting attainable goals.
Evaluate last years goals
If you set any goals for the previous year, take a moment to reflect and see how you can improve for this year. Where and why were you successful with last year’s goals, and how can you do the same for the new year. Were there any obstacles you faced or goals you didn’t quite accomplish?
10 Goal Setting Frameworks and Methods:
Specific: Keep your goals clear and defined. More general or vague goals aren’t helpful as they don’t provide any direction.
Measurable: Make your goals measurable. Include dates or precise amounts to help measure your success and progress.
Achievable: Choose a goal you are most likely to meet. Setting unattainable goals for yourself will do nothing but crush your confidence. Set goals
Relevant: Your goals should be relevant to the pathway you’re looking to follow in both your professional and personal life. When choosing your goals, think about what you need to do to further yourself in your career or life.
Time-bound: Have a deadline. Without one, you’ll probably have no motivation to put in the work to reach your goals.
SMART goals can also be expanded to SMARTER goals. If you choose to expand your SMART goals, consider the following:
Evaluate: Find a time to check your progress regularly. For example, every two weeks or every month, do a self-check-in to ensure you are on track.
Readjust: Life happens, but don’t let a few bumps in the road get in the way of your goals. Be prepared to adjust your goals and adapt your plan to accommodate any unforeseen obstacles.
OKR – Objectives and Key Results
OKR stands for Objectives and Key Results. An Objective is what you want to achieve, and Key Results are what we need to do to reach our objective. When following the OKR method, a basic goal statement could look like, ‘I will (Objective) as measured by (Key Results).’ to set an OKR goal, choose what you want to achieve (objective) and then identify the steps necessary to achieve it (Key Results).
Instead of setting one huge goal, break it up into smaller pieces. This method takes multiple but smaller goals to accomplish an overarching goal. For example, a school fundraiser might aim to raise $10,000. A thermometer chart gets filled in for every $500 or $1000 raised to track progress. As each milestone is reached, each participant can see their progress towards that larger goal at stake. Having smaller goals can help you stay motivated and remind you of your current successes when tackling larger goals.
The backwards goal method works by taking your vision and turning it into measurable goals. Figure out what you want your overall success to be and from there, work backwards to identify your smaller goals and tasks that need to be achieved to make that overarching goal happen. This method is an excellent choice for those who aren’t entirely sure what goal they want but know what kind of future they want.
For some, reaching their goals is easier with a visual representation, also known as a vision board. With this technique, imagine what your goals look like and find images either digital or in print to match. As you progress, you can add more pictures and even quotes, but place them somewhere you see daily. The visual goal technique can work hand-in-hand with many of the other methods described.
This method requires you to draw a target circle with three layers. The center of the target is your WHY. The WHY isn’t your goal, but it’s your purpose and the reason you want to achieve your goal. The second layer should identify your HOW. How will you achieve your goals?
Dedicate the final layer to your WHAT. What is it that you need to do to reach success? Once completed, use your golden circle as a visual reminder.
One-word goals emphasize simplicity through finding a singular word to describe your goal. This word should be memorable and simple as it will be your motivation. If you are looking to expand on a skill at work, your word might be reach, improve or bloom. One word goals can be used for personal or business goals in conjunction with other techniques.
Locke and Latham’s 5 principles of goal setting
Locke and Latham created these five principles to help goal-setters better succeed. Each principle helps set more effective goals and better action plans.
There should be no confusion when it comes to your goals. Clearly state and define your goal and find a strategy to measure progress.
Your goal should require effort to accomplish. If your goal is too easy, it’s probably something you already have accomplished.
Make sure your goal is something you actually want to accomplish. The more invested and committed you feel, to more likely you will achieve your goal.
Regularly check your progress and give yourself continuous feedback. If possible, get feedback from someone else. An outside source can provide fresh and objective ideas and motivate you even more.
Like the SMART method, make sure your goal isn’t beyond your abilities. Be realistic in what you can achieve without making it too challenging or easy.
Goals can be easier to accomplish when they are compatible with the values and beliefs you hold important. When setting your goal, think of traits or attributes that you believe are important. If you are often late to meetings but value responsibility, you can set a goal of being on time. Your value of responsibility is your drive and will motivate you to have better time management skills.
Standing for wish, outcome, obstacle and plan, the WOOP method is helpful for those trying to kick bad habits.
Wish: Make your wish or goal exciting for you.
Outcome: Picture the best possible scenario of achieving your goal. Visualize how your accomplishment would make you feel in as much detail as possible.
Obstacle: Recognize any potential setbacks. What are some external and personal limitations that might get in the way of your goal?
Plan: Find solutions or accommodations that will help you overcome these obstacles.
Make your goals public
Making your goals public will keep you accountable even in those discouraging moments.
Whether you decide to start an Instagram or simply let some friends know, don’t just keep your goals to yourself. If you don’t want to share your goals with everyone and anyone writing them down will have a similar effect.
Create an action plan
No matter which of the above methods you use, an action plan is crucial. We get so wrapped up in the thought of the outcome we forget what we need to do to get there. Writing out individual steps will give you a clearer image of your path to success.
Working towards a goal is hard work, so don’t forget to reward yourself. Rewards are motivating and will keep your morale up even when your goal seems so far away. Treat yourself even if it’s something small like buying a coffee from your favourite shop with each milestone reached.
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