‘Tis the Season to Set Your Goals


‘Tis the time of year to look at goals, life plan and resetting of priorities. I frame my goals for the year & place them on my night stand. When I started this exercise 10 years ago & at the end of the year I’d feel dejected from my lack of progress. Not realizing I should celebrate the small gains and I was developing a discipline that would change my life. I’m much better at setting goals and even better about creating plans to achieve those goals. This year I achieve 4 out of 5 of my big hairy audacious goals.  I’m celebrating all accomplishments!

One of the tools I began using 2 years ago was Michael Hyatt’s Life plan.

Here’s the process I use to plan the upcoming year based on my priorities.

Review priorities

I have 5 of these, but you can have as many as you choose. Mine include God, Health, Finances, Relationships, and Career.

Set goals

For each priority I have a vision statement that rarely changes from year to year. From this I look at what I accomplished the previous year and move over what I didn’t accomplish from that year.  Then I add to those.

Research what it takes to achieve those goals

This is a key activity.  I read a lot of books and talk to friends who are successful in those areas.

Re-evaluate goals

At the end you need to assess the price you are willing to pay to achieve your goals. If you have two high price goals, do they fit and is it realistic to achieve both.  Here you add or delete goals.

Finalize  goals

I type up and frame the top 5 or 6 goals. This frame sits in my bedroom where I can see it every day. This way if I ever wake up and think “I’ve got nothing to do today” those are screaming at me.

Plan, plan and plan

This is the “how” in achieving your goals.  From the research and goal setting, it’s time to sit down with a calendar and start laying down a plan.  If you’re goal is to “lose 30 pounds” then write down the days you are going to work out, what you are going to do and meal planning activities.  Or maybe you intend to sign up for a few 5k races next year: pick them out, write down the sign up dates and race dates.   Do this for every goal.

Begin to execute

Once you have the plan, begin to execute it. I don’t believe you have to wait until New Year’s day.  Get a jump on it now and begin.

The entire exercise takes me 15- 20 hours. It’s well worth it. I review it monthly to see if I need to make changes.  And I make time to celebrate any accomplishment.  If you do need to make changes, do that instead of abandoning the goal. One year I said I was going to climb Mt. Rainier. It’ changed several times due to money & time. I settled on Mt Si, which is an arduous hike that doesn’t need a permit to complete.

How do you achieve your goals?

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