We are getting closer to Christmas and hopefully you are on schedule. This time of year, we need to think about our goals for the New Year. If we want to hit the ground running next year, we need to have a plan ready. Most people start the year with “resolutions.” Unfortunately, by the end of January, most resolutions are forgotten or abandoned. If you are serious about making some changes in your life you need a plan.
All goals need to be S.M.A.R.T. – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time bound.
Specific rather than general. If you want to lose weight, say I want to lose ten pounds by April 1st, not just I want to lose weight. Or I will schedule two date nights in January, not that I want to spend more quality time with my spouse.
Measurable goes hand in hand with Specific. How do you know you are progressing? You must have a way to measure. How many new pieces of business will you attain in the first quarter? How many workouts per week?
Attainable means just what it says. Of course, you want to push yourself, but setting a goal to lose thirty pounds next month is neither healthy nor attainable.
They also need to be Relevant. If you have a lofty goal to increase your business by 50% but a recession is looming you need to form your goals to be relevant to the realities of your market.
Timely goals are the most important. If you have no time limits you will reach the end of the year with little accomplished!
As you think about what you want to achieve this year remember, less is more. Choose no more than three personal and three business goals.
Personal goals should include family and spirituality along with health. Business goals will be the three strategies that will, when combined, achieve the BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal).
Break down your year into quarters. Doing this will keep you from thinking I’m doing OK, there is a lot of time left. Quarterly goals also give you time to course correct before you get completely off track.
Each goal needs 3-5 strategies for success. Weight loss could include a certain number of workouts per week, doing 10,000 steps, and adding two servings each of fruits and vegetables.
Business strategies could be a certain number of prospecting calls and appointments per week or reorganizing your home or work office to make working more efficient. As you set up your quarterly plan you will score yourself each week. One point for every task completed. You are trying to achieve a score of 85% or more each week. If you have a total of fifteen tasks per week you will need to perform at least thirteen. If you notice that you are not progressing, or your percentage is not good you need to reassess. Perhaps you need to make more contacts or need to add a workout!
Yes, this is a little more involved than making a few New Year’s resolutions. But how many times have these resolutions ever been successful? I would think not often. If you are serious about changing your life, get a plan and work it! The only other thing I would add is someone to hold you accountable. This is a terrific way to stay on track. They can be a sounding board and help with forming your plan. You will be more apt to keep up with your tasks if you have someone to answer to at your weekly accountability meeting.
So, get going with your plan and Good Luck!
Kathleen Weaver-Zech and Dean’s Team Chicago