How to Set Your Goals & Plan to Achieve Them in the New Year

January 17, 2020 Staples Business Advantage

Setting goals is the first step when you want to make big changes, and it’s an easy task when you follow a few basic steps. Effective goal setting begins with knowing what you want to end up with and comparing it to your current state. Make an honest assessment of where you are compared to where you want to be as an ideal way to get started.

Choose Goals That Really Matter to You

Anyone can set a great goal, but if it isn’t meaningful on an individual level, it’s likely to fall by the wayside. As an example, it’s easy to set a goal to lose a lot of weight, but if you aren’t driven by a “why” that’s important to you, it may never go beyond the wish to lose weight.

Sticking with the weight loss goal example, add the “why” behind each goal to make it personal and meaningful. Instead of setting a generic goal to lose weight, set a goal to lose 20 pounds so you’ll be healthier and live longer.

Make it Easy to Succeed in Your Goals

Be realistic about how quickly each goal may be reached, and break goals into long-term and short-term goals. Think of each step necessary for reaching a big goal as a short-term goal. Put a specific timeline on reaching each goal.

This gives you a guideline to compare to your results when you evaluate your progress. It also gives you an opportunity to feel great about each smaller goal you reach. Building positive feelings into the process of reaching your goals increases your chance of succeeding in your biggest goals.

Set an Objective and Make an Action Plan

Make a commitment to achieving your goals by putting your objectives in writing. Setting an objective is a key part of making an action plan because when you prepare an objective statement, you include the details and steps you need to follow to succeed.

SMART is an acronym that’s commonly associated with goal-setting objectives. It stands for specific, measurable, audience-specific or attainable, realistic and time-bound, and those are the details needed to set successful goals.

No matter what your goals are, the best time to create an action plan and start working toward them is now.

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