Now that January’s in full swing, how many New Year’s resolutions have dropped off your list?
If you’re already feeling discouraged, you’re not alone — 80% of people fail to stick with their resolutions by the second week in February.
But if you want to keep tackling your 2019 goals, don’t give up yet.
One reason you may feel as if you haven’t achieved anything by year’s end is due to holes in your goal planning process and discipline practices.
Ready to learn how to set a goal and stick to it?
Read on to create your game plan for hitting goals all year long.
Why Do Goals Matter?
A captain of a ship never starts off a journey without a map or destination in mind. Otherwise, the ship would end up going in circles and never make its final destination.
Or, worse yet, it would crash.
The same can be said for goal planning. If you don’t have a clearly charted course, you’re likely to get frustrated and give up due to lack of progress.
One way to avoid burnout and goal skipping is to start small. Build self-trust that you’ll show up for yourself.
For example, if you want to workout more, start laying gym clothes out the night before. When you see the clothes in the morning, you’re more likely to be motivated to hit the gym.
Tracking progress matters, too.
Write it all down and document your progress — even the baby steps. It will help you feel a sense of achievement that propels you to continue forward.
Lose 2 pounds? Celebrate it! Eating healthier? Tell a friend!
All goals matter — especially the little milestones along the way.
How Do I Stick to These Goals?
By using the S.M.A.R.T. goal method. Some of the top-performing business leaders and entrepreneurs swear by using this way of measuring if goals are solid.
With slight variations, S.M.A.R.T. generally stands for:
- S– Specific (or Significant)
- M– Measurable (or Meaningful)
- A– Attainable (or Action-Oriented)
- R– Relevant (or Rewarding)
- T– Time-bound (or Trackable)
S.M.A.R.T. goals are realistic ways to make sure your goals won’t set you up for failure. It also helps cut small and unhelpful goals that don’t contribute to your big picture.
Examples of S.M.A.R.T. Goals
- Review and update LinkedIn profile by the end of the month with a new photo, new headline, and career updates
- Clean out and organize digital and physical filing cabinets by end of March
- Expand network by joining a professional organization and attend at least one meeting within 30 days of signing up
Plan your big goals, and consider breaking them down into three areas: self, relationships, and work, for example.
Write everything you can possibly think of for those areas that you want to accomplish in 2019. Nothing is too big or too small.
Then, go back and prune your list. Think about what really matters to you, how it will make you feel, and who you have to become in order to hit the goals.
Put a star next to the ones that are non-negotiable for you. Once you’ve selected the most important goals, consider what you might need to achieve each: time, money, or discipline. Mark each one accordingly.
From there, decide how much of each resource (time, money, or discipline) you’ll need. Then brainstorm how you’ll find it — whether it’s using time management apps, having a garage sale to get funds, cutting out activities, etc.
With that information in mind, write out your weekly goals that will contribute to the overall big-picture goal.
A goal planner like Ink + Volt is a great resource for long-term planning and helps even the most disorganized brains find order.
Review at the end of each week to see what tasks need to migrate to the following week. Repeat each week until you hit your goals.
Steps to Set Work Goals
You can set goals in all areas of your life, including work. By setting work goals for yourself and team members, it encourages teamwork toward common objectives.
Tips for setting work goals:
Settle on Who Does What
There can be a lot of confusion after reorganization, mergers, layoffs, etc. Or, maybe it’s the start of a really large project for your department. Whatever the reason, make sure everyone is clear on who is responsible for what tasks.
Have Open Conversations
Have a sit down and heart-to-heart discussion with your direct supervisor or manager. Ask what projects you can assist with to make their life easier while still serving within your capacity. If you can take on more, let them know.
Control What You Can
It’s easy to get frustrated when someone isn’t pulling their weight. Do your work and focus on what you need to get done. If another employee is weighing you down by adding work to your pile, schedule a meeting with your supervisor to square away job duties.
When in doubt, ask questions — especially for large projects with many moving parts. Chances are someone else is wondering the same thing as you.
After getting clarity, check-in from time to time with supervisors and co-workers. Using project management tools like Trello, for example, is a great way to check-in on short-and long-term project progress.
Track and Celebrate Accomplishments
When a project goes off without a hitch, or a large milestone is hit, it’s time to celebrate. An employee luncheon, gift card giveaway, or even a shout-out in a meeting are all easy ways to celebrate hitting team goals.
Set Goals With Intention
When you write down your goals (digitally or on paper), you bring each goal into focus. It can feel overwhelming to set all of your 2019 goals and think about achieving all of them if you don’t break each one down.
Instead of looking at all 365 days as a huge mountain to climb, look at your list in smaller bite-sized pieces. Work backwards from your main goal and create tiny steps — by month, by week, and by day.
It makes it less overwhelming and more doable.
Plus, there’s no bigger time waster than focusing on the wrong activities to get your goals done. Knowing your starting point and the baby steps along the way — and being flexible for change — makes the path to goal achievement much clearer.
What goals do you and your team have in place for 2019? Share below!