It’s January 3rd and according to the traditional rules, I’ve already broken three of my “New Year’s Resolutions”. Great start to the year, Brette. Blame it on a lack of willpower, the fact that I just got back home from being gone for 10 days, or that my new Ugg robe is just too cozy to go work out. That’s the problem with resolutions – they’re just so RESOLUTE. Not a lot of wiggle room for cheat days, off weeks, or general procrastinators like me.
Just because I hate New Year’s Resolutions, though, doesn’t mean that I am against bettering ourselves or growing our businesses. I actually LOVE the idea of fresh starts, re-focused energy, and dreaming for the next 12 months… and this time of year is the perfect opportunity to do that.
So, instead of setting concrete resolutions that are likely to be forgotten or abandoned within the next few weeks, spend some time thinking about your goals, what actions will lead you to them, and how you can stay focused on them throughout the year.
Ok, so where to start. Planning and goal setting can be intimidating, so I like to start by narrowing down a handful of focus areas that allow me to create a structure for my goals. For example, this year I have 5 focus areas: Business, Hobbies, Faith, Personal + Professional Development, and Relationships.
This allows me to make sure that I am focused on the right things as I set my goals. I find it easy to set goals for my business, but having several other focus areas helps me stay well rounded and avoid focusing too much on one aspect of my life.
Reflect on what is important to you and what areas of life you want to spend time improving.
At this point you might be thinking, “Brette, goals sound an awful lot like resolutions.” You’re not wrong. The big difference between setting goals and making new year’s resolutions is that goals are achievements that you are working toward throughout the year. They are targets that you can strive for and even if you miss, you’ve still made progress. Resolutions are a firm decision. You’ve either decided to do something or not do something.
I’ve put together an entire guide to goal setting for you here, but the biggest key for me is to make sure my goals are easy to track. I try to include specific numbers or measurable aspects so that I can monitor my progress as the year goes on.
Reflect on each of your focus areas and set at least one goal for each one.
Once you’ve established your goals for the coming year, it’s time to consider what it will take to achieve them. What habits will you need to create? What projects will you need to take on? List the actions you’ll need to take to make progress for your goals.
I break mine down into Monthly, Weekly, and Daily actions so that I can track them and stay accountable. For example, if one of your goals this year is to grow your email list by 1,000, you might set a weekly action to write a blog post each week. If you want to be healthier this year, set a daily action to exercise. This way, even if you miss a day, you’re still on track to your goals and you avoid getting down on yourself.
Taking time to reflect and plan for the coming year is one of the most impactful things you can do for your business and personal life. I want to encourage you to be intentional about the goals you set and how you progress over the next 12 months. Set aside a time each month to review your focus areas, goals, and actions to make sure that they are still in line with your intention.
Most importantly, find a way to use your goals to stay motivated and keep them “top of mind” as the year goes on. For me, I have added my Monthly, Weekly, and Daily actions to my Trello board so that they pop up automatically when it’s time to complete them. I’ve also decorated a wall in my office with framed “Goal Boards” that allow me to check off progress as I move closer towards my goals.
Finally, find an accountability partner who will help you stay on track. Share your goals with them and have them do the same.
My 2017 Goals:
- Enroll 10 Students per Month into the Side Hustle Starter Kit
- Work with 15 New Business Coaching Clients
- Add 20 Members to my Mastermind Coaching Group
- Attend 30 Church Services
- Adopt an Off the Track Thoroughbred
- Visit 6 Places I Haven’t Been
- Read 50 Books
- Buy a House
What are your goals for the coming year? Ditch those “new year’s resolutions” and spend time setting goals that will encourage you to act – even after the newness wears off.
Warm wishes for a wonderful 2017!