During a recent trip to New York City, I found myself sitting in an airplane, wishing the seats were larger, and my fellow travelers were smaller! (Hasn’t everyone thought that?) After reality set in – in the form of a cramped seat – I diverted my attention to my boarding pass. That’s when it struck me…
It occurred to me that a boarding pass represents much of the information needed to set effective, personal goals.
The boarding pass contained my name, “where I am now” and “where I am going”. It listed my boarding and departure date and time, my seat number, and other valuable information.
You might say that living without properly set personal goals is a lot like walking through the airport, intent on flying somewhere, but having no boarding pass.
If you feel like you are wandering through life without the proper direction, there’s hope! People who take the time to explicitly set goals and resolutions are ten times more likely to attain them than those who don’t make the effort.
In my previous three blog posts I suggested you…
- Pause and reflect by asking, “Where have I been? and “Where am I now?”
- Dream and use six key “principles” to think as you are asking yourself “Where am I going?”
- Get more done by using five tips to guide your thinking about your 2016 goals.
I often heard from my good friend and mentor say…
“If you don’t know where you are going…
…any path will get you there,
…but you won’t realize if you’re lost,
…you won’t know what time you’ll arrive,
…you won’t know the dimensions of your challenge,
…others won’t understand how they could help,
…and since you could pass right by without recognizing it,
…you won’t get the satisfaction of having arrived!” –Jim Lundy
Every person can write the best goals ever for 2016 by acting upon these two steps.
Prepare to Write
The following three questions can help you think through and plan out your goals before you actually write them:
What do I want to happen?
What do you want to accomplish? By doing so, you need your goals to be…
- Specific – Your goals must identify exactly what you want to accomplish.
- Action – Your goals should lead to an action verb.
- Realistic – Remember you are looking for progress not perfection. Your goals should be challenging and should stretch you. You should use common sense toward the results you want to achieve.
How will I know it happened?
This is about measuring for example: “I want to lose five pounds.”
- Measurable – You can’t manage what you can’t measure. Be specific of the results you desire.
- Celebrate – You must know when you hit a goal so you can celebrate and reward yourself.
When do I want this to happen?
When is your start date and when do you want to finish by (completion date)?
- Time-Bound – A goal without a date is just a pipe-dream. Make sure that every goal has a start date and completion date because, “what gets scheduled gets done”.
- Staggered Dates – Pick a couple of your goals to start in January. Then, perhaps quarterly, begin working on a couple more goals. This staggered schedule helps you intensify your focus AND prevent burn-out.
- Reviews – Regularly review progress so that you stay on course. And celebrate even the smallest mile-stones.
Time to Write
Actually writing down your goals is an important step. There is something that emotionally connects us to our goals when we write them down.
Fact: You are 42% more likely to achieve your goals, simply by writing them down!
Set aside time to write a goal for each of the seven life areas that I have developed to help you identify and record your personal goals for 2016! I walk you through four simple steps in my Goal Setting Workbook. It’s FREE to download by <clicking here>.
Why don’t you get started? The hardest part of any important task is getting started. Once you actually begin work on a valuable task, you will be naturally motivated to continue.
Could you share what have been your experiences when you wrote down your goals versus when you didn’t? Click <here> to share your thoughts and leave a comment. Please share this blog post with your family, friends, and co-workers.
- University of Scranton: Journal of Clinical Psychology: 1/1/2014: via Statistic Brain
- Dominican University of California: Goal Study: Dr. Gail Matthews Ph.D.