Most of us have goals in our personal and professional lives. We tend to set these goals during specific times of the year like the start of a new year, wrapping up the year strong, or because of an upcoming event or deadline. No matter when or what kind of goal you are setting these guidelines will help you set your goals with a better chance of achieving them.

Brainstorm- Start by jotting down all of your goal ideas. You can do this alone, with a partner, or group of people. Even if you are going to go after a goal alone it is often beneficial to toss around ideas with another person. Communicating your thoughts to others can not only get you feedback but often times we improve our own plans as we work through explaining them to others.

Prioritize- Now that you have various goals and objectives you need to list them in the order of priority. This can be determined based on sense of urgency, necessity, deadlines, or personal preference.

Define- Use SMART to clarify what goals you are trying to achieve. Goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based.

Break it up- Many goals we set are longer timetables to achieve like an annual goal at work or a weight goal for a health and wellness journey. Breaking a larger goal up into shorter measurements can help you stay on track for the ultimate goal. For example, if it’s an annual goal try breaking it down into monthly or quarterly goals. 

Set a deadline- What is your final date to achieve your goal? Is it realistic? Is it too far out to the point you will procrastinate resulting in a rushed attempt to reach the goal in an unreasonable time frame? If so, set mini deadlines for your smaller goals. 

Pitstops- If you breakdown your larger goal into smaller goals they should still follow the SMART goal logic as mentioned when defining your goals including time frames of when these smaller goals should be achieved. I like to refer to these as pitstops along the way to the finish line. 

Reward yourself- Staying focused and engaged can be difficult. There’s an old saying “keep your eye on the prize” that mentions prize but doesn’t necessarily mean something tangible. What if you added a treat or prize to certain milestones? I truly believe this can help you remain steadfast in your goals.

Adjusting- When goals require adjusting many people consider that failure and will often just give up. DO NOT DO THIS! Don’t adjust your goals just so you can achieve them. You are doing yourself a disservice by doing so. However, there are times when internal or external changes can require us to adjust and adapt and that is perfectly acceptable. For example, if set smaller goals based on a certain amount of team members and you no longer have that many personnel you may need to adjust your goals to be lower to align with your staffing and then insert a new goal to hire and increase your shorter term goals to compensate for the one you lowered when you were down in manpower.

Accountability Partner- Some people prefer to work independently and go at it alone and that is understandable. However, research studies have shown that publicly committing your goals to someone gives you at least a 65% chance of completing them and having a specific accountability partner increases your chance of success to 95%.

Repeat- Once you crush one goal go back to your priority list and knock out the next one. 

Lastly, remember why you are setting goals. Personal and professional goals are both about you living your best life. Start now. Do not wait. Go Out And Live your best life!

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