Setting Goals in 2013
Don't let your New Year’s resolutions fall off shortly after the first of the year—make 2013 the year for success! Follow this 8-step plan that will make the road to achieving your goals easier and much more manageable.
Step 1: List Your Goals
List four goals you would like to accomplish. At least one of these goals should be leadership-oriented and involve one other person. At least one of these goals should also be personal and not necessarily involve your work life. We recommend you keep your time frame within 3 to 6 months, though there may be exceptions. Also, keep your statements specific and brief.
Step 2: Set Priorities
Once you have listed your goals, review them and prioritize them in order of importance. Also make sure the goal has been assigned a realistic completion date.
Step 3: Determine Measurable Indicators
Your next step is to determine measurable “success indicators.” How will you know that you have successfully completed your goal? There needs to be something concrete that you can use as an indication of your success. Again, be brief and concise and try to list several “success indicators” for each goal. Examples include: pounds lost, percent body weight lost, inches lost, distance traveled (walked, run or cycled) in a fixed amount of time, duration (e.g. added time to your endurance ride or took seconds off your 400-meter sprint), exercise frequency (e.g. number of 1-hour workouts per week), intensity improvements (e.g. rate of perceived exertion was lower at 80% max heart rate) or strive to complete a competitive event with friends (e.g. local road race or outdoor cycle event).
Step 4: Indicate Standards of Performance
Because each “success indicator” should be specific and measurable, your next step is to indicate what would be an acceptable level of achievement and what would be an outstanding level. To determine this, it may be helpful to think in terms of the degree of timeliness, quality, quantity and/or cost.
Step 5: Identify Obstacles
Sometimes outside factors beyond your control may affect how you achieve your goals. Try to determine what these factors may be and list them if they are relevant.
Step 6: Describe Action Steps
Determine how you will accomplish your goal. There may be several ways to do this, so choose the most appropriate one. Then list several action steps (in sequence) to accomplish each goal. Also, consider whose help or support you will need.
Step 7: Create Incentives
You have just taken the time to plan, prioritize and set standards for the goals you plan to accomplish in the future. It is important to also take the time to recognize what you will gain from achieving your goals, and what may be a reward when your goal is accomplished.
Step 8: Don’t Be Afraid to Start Over
It’s possible that you may not accomplish what you set out to do. If this happens, you should go back to goal setting. Reset your goals, timelines and action steps and start again, having benefited from your experience. Once you have finished with steps 1-7 for all of your goals, take the time to check them for clarity, feasibility and unanticipated problems. Consider the following questions:
a) Are the timelines realistic? Will competing factors cause a delay?
b) Will others agree that your goals are central to your desired outcome?
c) Will your goals have an impact? Do they tie in with your long-range aspirations?
d) How will these goals help you develop new skills?