They tantalize us every January. The idea of achieving our wildest dreams…we convince ourselves that we can have it all, that this is OUR year! But then by February or maybe March reality sets in. What went wrong?
The first problem is that people tend to set unrealistic goals – things that are out of your control or that are simply impossible. That sets you up for a feeling of failure when you cannot achieve them. Even if you do accomplish some of your goals, you typically wind up exhausting yourself and your resources in the process. Maybe you throw yourself into getting that coveted promotion, but if your health suffers and your family never sees you anymore you’re left wondering if it was really worth it.
No wonder so many of groan at the idea of New Year’s resolutions, most of the time they simply don’t work. But goal-setting is not just a good idea – it’s essential for success. The key is to set the right goals, with the proper balance between those that are easier to attain and those that force you to stretch and grow in ways that challenge your status quo. With the right set of priorities you can look forward to a more balanced, productive, well-rounded outcome.
So this year, don’t just set goals because it’s traditional this time of year. Choose goals that will inspire you and motivate you and that will culminate in a greater work/life balance.
Once you identify key areas in your life that you would like to improve, here’s a great way to structure them:
#1 What people, resources, and new skills will you need to reach this goal?
#2 Where and how can you meet those people and acquire those assets/aids?
#3 If you cannot figure #2 out, then the goal is not yet realistic, so you should scale it back to one that’s feasible.
By having subsets (people, resources, skills, etc.) under each goal you automatically generate smaller, more attainable goals. These smaller goals are the ones you must reach first, en route to the bigger goal. And since these are easier to achieve they give you motivational fuel that small successes provide along the way.
Even if you miss your goal you still enrich your life with people, skills, and resources that boost your career. That’s a winner – and makes goal-setting a valuable addition to your life in 2013.
What part of reaching new goals is the most challenging for you: determining the right goal in the beginning, keeping yourself motivated as you’re working towards it, or acknowledging and rewarding yourself when you’ve attained it? If you can figure out where you struggle most, you can do something to make it work better the next time around. I’d love your input on this!
Tell me what you think! Post a comment below.
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Sarah Hathorn is a leadership development mentor, executive presence coach, image and branding consultant, public speaker & author. She is the founding CEO of her own successful company, Illustra Consulting, and the creator of the proprietary Predictable Promotion System™.
Blog, Ezine & Website: www.illustraconsulting.com
Copyright © 2012, Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIP, CPBS
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