We’re just over halfway through the month of December, and along with all of the holiday prep, we should be thinking about our 2015 plans. It’s important to reflect on 2014, and gather your thoughts on what you’d like to accomplish in the new year. By doing this, you’ll be starting the year off right, with the best intentions and expectations. There are many things to keep in mind as you’re going through this process, but I managed to whittle my list down to six solid dos and don’ts. Read through this list, and come out ahead in the new year!
Don’t be unrealistic. There’s a difference between setting a manageable goal, and setting an unachievable goal. It’s important to only write down those goals that are reachable and definable. For example, if you noticed that you were always late to work in 2014, and you want to set the goal of being on time, set up some smaller goals to help achieve this. These can include finding a home for your keys, preparing lunch the night before, and setting your purse/bag by the door. Each small task that goes awry can snowball into a late departure.
Do use SMART goals.
S is for Specific. Set goals that are focused and well defined.
M is for Measurable. Think through how you will measure your personal goal at designated checkpoints throughout the year. For example, roping back in the goal of being on time for work set a checkpoint at the beginning of each quarter to reflect on where you are with achieving this goal.
A is for Attainable. I mentioned this in my first bullet, but I can’t express how important it is for these goals to be attainable. Change takes time, so keep that in mind in your 2015 personal goal planning.
R is for Relevant. Your goals should be aligned with where you are in your personal and professional life. If you just moved into your new home, you should select one big renovation to focus on. If you just had a baby, focus on managing your personal time with a new addition to care for.
T is for Trackable. Select a timeframe in which you’d like for this goal to be achieved. No goal is great unless there is a defined finish line.
Don’t use negative phrases. Negativity can put a damper on your goals, and thus your goals need to be infused with positivity. Correct: I will pay my bills on time. Incorrect: Don’t miss a bill payment. It’s amazing what can be done with a positive state of mind!
Do write down your goals. Research has shown that people who write their goals down AND look at them daily are more successful in achieving their goals. You can also write down your goals and share them with a close family or friend to help keep you accountable. Accountability can go a long way in helping one achieve their goals.
Don’t let others get in your way. Similar to the note above about staying positive, surround yourself with supportive people who will be there when you have bad day and need a boost. Additionally, it’s important to avoid comparing yourself to others and their achievements. Each individual has his or her own journey, and your path is unique and special. Measuring your successes with someone else’s can lead to self-doubt, which can reduce productivity. Avoid this at all costs!
Do set priorities. It’s okay to have a list of goals you want to achieve, but if you focus on all of them at the same time, you may be setting yourself up for failure. Evaluate your list and decide what items should be executed first and by what deadline. The more focused you can be on a project, the sooner you will hit your goal and check it off the list.
Photo: Words Over Pixels