As we approach the final months of 2012, it’s a good time to review the goals you’ve set for the year. You’ll get a sense of satisfaction for all the goals that you have already met or exceeded during the year, and October still leaves you time to recalibrate the goals you haven’t met yet. Keep these principles in mind as you review your goals:
- Make Your Goals Specific
It’s hard to cross an abstract goal like “eat better” or “be happier” off your list. The more specific your goals, the easier it is to make progress. Try asking the five W questions:
– What do I want to accomplish?
– Why should I set this goal (specific benefits)?
– Who is involved (myself, my family, my coworkers)?
– Where does this goal apply?
– Which requirements and constraints apply?
- Make Your Goals Measurable
If you can’t measure your goal, you’ll never know when you’ve achieved it. You can measure your goal through daily assessments (“How many days did I eat healthy this week”) or through completed tasks (“I cleared out the compost bins, and I’m one step closer to a beautiful garden next year”).
- Make Your Goals Attainable
Setting out specific steps and measurable checklist points goes a long way toward making your goals realistic. Seeing everything involved set out in front of you can help you decide whether the goal will stretch your capabilities or just make you snap.
- Make Your Goals Relevant
When goals matter to you, you have additional incentive to succeed. As you review your list, prioritize your goals in their order of importance. Ask yourself, “Why is this goal important to me?”
- Make Your Goals Time-Based
The end of the year provides a great deadline for your goals. With your past holiday experiences in your head, December 31 is much easier to picture than August 7. For ambitious goals, set intermittent deadlines to help you make the bigger December 31 deadline.
Whether your goals are personal or professional, following these steps sets you on the pathway to success. With determination and daily planning, you can keep on track and use the rest of 2012 to mold your life to better meet your expectations.