Oh we talking goals?!
Welcome to the final Millennial Minute post of 2017! 1. Where did the year go? Literally. 2. What will 2018 have in store? Like most of you I’m sure, I am in full 2018 planning mode aka getting my life together for a new year. I have my basics ready to roll, new planner, vision board ½ done, and my top goals for 2018 on paper. Typically, goal setting is the easy part, but maintaining and holding yourself accountable for the entire year can get tricky if you don’t have a system in place. Another way to easily get off track is using your dreams as goals, but then having no plan in place to achieve. After all.. Shout out to Denzel, his bday is today
So, if you are in planning mode for 2018, you’re already on the right path. By the end of this article, I hope you have either settled on the goals you already had because they are good to go, or you are going back to the drawing board to re-work them to set yourself up for success.
Let’s start with the basics, like what is a plan really?
So you need goals and a plan. Goal setting is crucial because it gives you long term vision and short term motivation to get where you want to go in life, both professionally and personally. When you create this plan for yourself, it’s easier to stick to it and dismiss common distractions. So, how do you start successful goal planning that you can commit to? I like to use a well-known tool called “S.M.A.R.T” goals.
- S– Specific (or Significant)
- Define the goal as much as you can with clarity. You want the who, what, where, when and why to make sure you are clear on what you are going to do. Being vague here is not your friend.
- M– Measurable (or Meaningful)
- How will I be able to track the progress and success of this goal? How will I know when it’s achieved? Make sure you can measure the goal and that once it’s achieved you take the time to reward yourself. I personally need to work on this for 2018. I think since our generation is so SUPER goals oriented and on the hustle, sometimes we do not celebrate the wins or take the time to enjoy them.
- A– Attainable (or Action-Oriented)
- You want goals that are reasonable so that they can be attained. Be careful not to shoot too high or too low.
- R– Relevant (or Rewarding)
- Make sure this goal is worthwhile. Will this goal ultimately help you get to your lifetime goals?
- T– Time-bound (or Trackable)
- You need a timeline or a deadline to complete your goals or they turn into this:
Each of your goals should be able to meet this simple criteria. If not, it may need to be re-worked. Put your current goals to the test. You can google SMART goals worksheet and get a blank sheet from anywhere.
Other tips for setting the best goals:
Write them down. It makes them real, makes the goals come to life. Studies have shown for decades that writing goals down increases your chances of achieving! Try it.
Set priorities. Yes, all of your goals are important, but what should come 1st, 2nd, etc.? What is short term vs long term? What is the most urgent thing you need to achieve? One goal may relate or affect another, so prioritize wisely.
Be positive. Each goal you have should be written in a positive way. Instead of saying “Stop asking dumb questions this year” try “Become skilled at asking the most effective questions to be the most knowledgeable person on the subject.”
Balance. Make sure to set goals professionally AND personally. A couple years ago I was working with a mentor on setting goals for the New Year, and yal, I was proud of this list. She says, this is all wonderful, but where are you personally goals? Crickets.. it was crazy, without even intentionally doing it, I had written all career goals for the year. Work / life balance is so key (and will be a 2018 topic for us to chat on) but make sure you are setting both. Also, don’t forget about health goals (physical, mental, spiritual), and I am not just talking about your 2018 #bodygoals. Self-care is real and one thing you cannot get back is your health.
Well, it’s a wrap on 2017. Good ol’ Ben Franklin said it best, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” So plan wisely my friends.
Until next year, stay dope Gen Y!