As we jump into the New Year, many have already set their goals and resolutions for the year ahead. While some folks are still pondering their desired focus for these annual quests of self-improvement. Although most are set with the best intentions, it’s important to take a thoughtful approach to choosing the goals themselves and how to achieve each. This article is a classic look at how to set, and more importantly, achieve New Year’s Resolutions and Goals with my own personal twist.
Each New Year cannot begin without reflection on the year previous. There is no accurate way to gauge what the future looks like without first acknowledging what went well and what could use improvement. Take a brief period of reflection, hopefully you can tip your hat to the previous goals you achieved, while also identifying those areas of opportunity to improve. Looking back can help develop a road map for those future goals.
The “SMART” acronym may be outdated, but it still stands true. Ensuring that your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART), can be a great foundation for setting a successful goal or resolution. I personally like to try to define quantitative elements for my goals as opposed to keeping them general and vague. A great example of this is “I plan to make 10 outbound calls to potential new clients a day.” Instead of, “I want to make more calls.” Being more definitive leads to a higher likelihood of reaching the goal.
After thoughtfully identifying the goals, it is vital to prioritize and track the progress of each of them. Prioritizing looks different for everyone. It could start with the easiest to accomplish to help build confidence and look forward to other goals. Or it could be starting with goals that are building blocks to a larger goal. By prioritizing each goal, it can appear less daunting, while also keeping you in line to achieve each of them. Tracking the prioritized goals can make it clear which ones need more or less attention to ultimately be completed. A good tip when tracking is to break each goal into smaller pieces, so you can check them off to see progress. Tracking really helps you to be more accountable and flexible where need be.
Accountability is a key to successfully accomplishing any of these resolutions or goals you may set for yourself. Accountability should be more than just that little voice in your head reminding you of all the lingering goals waiting for you. It should be self-tracking and monitoring progress, yes. But it should also come from external sources too. Share goals with friends and family for added motivation and or support! Maybe you have a common goal as someone you know, make a friendly compotation out of it. Accountability for me is my wife constantly asking if I did what I said I was going to do, this method is confirmed to work.
It doesn’t matter if it is personal or professional, each goal should be meant to help you level up. With that in mind, remember to be positive with yourself and practice self-compassion. If and when setbacks arise or things are taking longer than you anticipated, try not to get discouraged but instead use them as continued motivation and opportunities to learn. Being kind to yourself and keeping a positive outlook can lead to unexpected lessons along the journey of trying to complete your goals.
At the end of the day, call them what you’d like, these resolutions or goals are all conjured with the idea of doing better in the year to come. Shoot for the stars and if you fall a little short remember there is always next year. I hope you can utilize some of these tips to identify your 2024 goals or achieve those you already have your eyes on!