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New Year’s has passed and those who made New Year’s resolutions probably already have given up on them. Most people who make New Year’s resolutions do it because they feel social pressure. They don’t set goals because they are fully committed to the hard work of goal setting.
If you are serious about reaching an important goal and are willing to do the hard work to reach that goal, you will want to use a different process. You do not want to use a simple New Year’s resolution to set and meet a goal.
For people to succeed in meeting an important goal, they have to be committed and connected to that goal on a regular basis. The basic structure of setting a goal is very simple. There are many ways to set goals, but the basic foundation is three-fold.
n First, a significant goal is set, which will make the person work hard to accomplish the goal. The more specific the goal, the easier it is to create the rest of the process.
n Second, create three or four priorities that will help to achieve the goal. If the goal is to build a new house, for example, the priorities could be: 1. Location and description of house, 2. Financing the house 3. Selection of a builder. Each of these priorities is very specific and connected to the overall goal of building a house.
n Third, the goal setter must create quantifiable action statements that will help to complete each priority. These action statements need to be specific and measurable. For example, action statements for selecting a builder might be: select three builders to interview by March 31, create specific questions to ask builders about the process of building homes and make specific list of desired home features.
This process is pretty standard and is fairly easy to do. But it is just a piece a paper that probably will be filed away some place and totally forgotten unless a commitment strategy also is created.
The goal setting process included making quantifiable action statements. The measurable part of the action statements should be added to your daily calendar. When the goals are not integrated into the personal/professional calendar, it is easy to forget the actions necessary to succeed to reach the goal. When these events are added to the calendar, it is possible to see how many steps have been accomplished during the month. The progress of the goal achievement is easy to track this way and success is much more likely.
One other connection strategy is to place the goals in a location where they are seen on a regular basis. Some classic locations include posting on the refrigerator or the bathroom. In this high-tech environment, you might place the goals as wallpaper on a computer monitor or on a smart phone. These connection strategies allow the person to see the goals and action statements and encourage action because they are seen and not forgotten.
Many people will fail to live up to their goals for 2013. Those who succeed probably will incorporate a commitment strategy which keeps their goals and actions in a place where they have to be acknowledged and acted upon daily.
Dr. Wilson is a performance consultant in Hardin County and owner of The Wilson Center for Performance. He is performance anxiety consultant to the Hardin County Schools Performing Arts Center. He can be reached at TheWilsonCenter7@aol.com.