Goals are not only about new achievements but also kicking old habits through discipline.
I think it's important when establishing new goals to consider persistent old behaviours - activities that you know or shouldn't do. Funnily enough these goals tend to be the easier ones to achieve because you make an instant impact by taking action today that will impact your daily life.
A structure for defining personal goals could be to break them down into the following:
Career – What level do you want to reach in your career, or what do you want to achieve?
Financial – How much do you want to earn, by what stage? How is this related to your career goals?
Education – Is there any knowledge you want to acquire? What information and skills will you need to have in order to achieve other goals?
Family – Do you want to be a parent? How do you want to be seen by a partner or by members of your extended family?
Artistic – Do you want to achieve any artistic goals?
Attitude – Is any part of your mindset holding you back? Is there any part of the way that you behave that upsets you? (If so, set a goal to improve your behaviour or find a solution to the problem.)
Physical – Are there any athletic goals that you want to achieve? What steps are you going to take to achieve this?
Pleasure – How do you want to enjoy yourself? (You should ensure that some of your life is for you!)
Public Service – Do you want to make the world a better place? If so, how?
Business or Career Goals should follow a business or career planThe goals of which should be intrinsically defined with achieving the business or career objectives which are defined from your Mission and Vision statements (more on that in another blog).
Step 1 - Big PictureBecause yearly goals are always part of a bigger subset of life or business achievements it makes sense to set out 2 yearly, 5 yearly 10 yearly goals in addition to your yearly goals. The longer timeframe goals are going to be at a very high level, perhaps only a sentence long, but they set the framework for the goals for which you intend to complete. Do this before setting your goals for the forthcoming year, doing so will assist with defining what goals are important in the bigger scheme of things and will assist you to stay on track.
Step 2 - BrainstormBrainstorm your goals for this year on to a piece of paper. Where goals are dependent on others then link them together.
Step 3 - Make your goals SMARTThe next step is to round the goals so that it has the necessary characteristics to assist with success. These are often called S.M.A.R.T goals, which stands for:
|Specific||Target a specific area for improvement. This focus' the mind. Think: What, Why, Who, Where, Which
|Measurable||Quantify an indicator of progress. This drives the delivery.
Think: how much, how many, how will I know it is accomplished
|Attainable||Set realistic goals, that are challenging but attainable. This will drive determination. Unattainable goals lead to low energy and demoralisation.
Think: how can the goal be accomplished
|Relevant||State what results can realistically be achieved, given resources. Goals must be based on current industry and economic conditions and realities.
Think: is this going to tie back to achieving the objectives.
|Time-bound||Set the time frame in which the goal must be achieved Timeframes help focus-ability.
Think: when can this be accomplished
Those goals that were interlinked from the brainstorming session are going to be dependent on each other so the order in which you achieve those will be important so setting your S.M.A.R.T Criteria will involve linking back to the other goal.
Step 4 - Make your SMART goals smaller againOnce you have done this review your goals and get ready to break them down further. A Goal whether it is a S.M.A.R.T one or not if set over a period of 12 months is unlikely to be achieved because the time frame is too long and allows for complacency.
Take each goal and break it down into further goals preferably into 12 monthly goals but definitely a maximum of quarterly goals. You now have a recipe for success.