It’s that time of year again when goal setting and personal betterment become a regular topic of discussion and contemplation.
Resolutions and goals are an effective way to quit bad habits and establish good ones. Through proper decisions, attention, and energy management, goals can help drive the results you need—both personally and professionally.
Unfortunately, setting goals isn’t as simple as it may sound. Why do you think so many attempts to achieve a goal fail? There are many reasons, but let’s focus on the two top criteria that will help you set the right goals and, more importantly, achieve them.
1. Build the “Life Case” (or “Business Case”)
Goals can take considerable effort to accomplish. So before you set them in stone, take a step back and figure out the “life case” for choosing this goal on which to work. It may be attached to your personal life or your work life. This process, which in the work world is called the “business case,” will help bring clarity to your business goal setting and help you understand the real intent, emotion, and value behind the goal.
Lock yourself in a room and ask, “Why do it? Why is it important to me, my work, or my family? If I achieve the goal, what will the return be to me and those around me?”
This clarity removes some of the obstacles that lead to goal failures. Your goals will no longer be shortsighted or influenced by outside forces or done as part of a checklist. Instead, they will have deep meaning to you, helping to motivate you to see them through to completion.
2. Narrow the Focus
Ambition is an incredible attribute, but when not kept in check, it can lead to all of your ideas collapsing. So it is with your goal setting. Be healthier, sleep more, get promoted, climb that mountain, read those books, improve the bottom line. That’s just a small sample of the many goals people consider.
Don’t “over-goal” yourself. As was mentioned before, goals take considerable effort to accomplish, especially in the long term. Over-goaling can lead to fatigue, and that’s when your goals collapse. Find the one (not two, not three) goal that has the greatest life case and is achievable. Focus on that, and avoid being bogged down by so many common goals and ideas that none of them get accomplished.
New Resolutions Aren’t Just for New Year’s
One final note: Don’t be pressured to set your goals at the 2020 New Year mark. It’s okay to wait. Don’t be beholden to setting your goals when tradition dictates. Move on your own time. Put more mental energy into envisioning the end result and how you’ll get there. And if that takes you a few weeks to work through, fine. Having that clear vision will play a significant role in achieving the goal.
Good luck with the goals that you’ll set in the coming weeks, months, and years.
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