(By Randy Lane) I escaped Southern California over the holidays with my wife JoAnn, to visit both of our families in Tennessee. On the return flight, we reflected on the past year and we discussed ways to make 2019 even better.
One of our traditions is to choose a word or create a phrase that steers our intentions and sets the tone for the year. This year’s phrase is empowered compassion.
Those New Year keywords — “resolutions,” “declarations,” “goals” — are easy to list and recite, but the real challenge is following through on them.
Here are some ideas to help us all effectively set and keep goals.
Be declarative and use specific numbers:
Financial planner Peter Dunn, in an article in USA Today states, “I prefer to start with the phrase “I will.” “I will” is more declarative and intentional than phrases such as, “I’d like to.”
For instance, “I will increase my ratings this year” is not as strong as “I will increase my ratings from #7 to #3 in 25-54 persons this year.”
Dates and timelines strengthen the goal:
“The show will increase Nielsen ratings from #3 to #7 in 25-54 persons by the summer 2019 ratings book” is even more specific and more effective.
What’s the benefit of your goal?
Power up goals by stating the benefits as a result of achieving your goal. For example, “My show will increase Nielsen ratings from #3 to #7 in 25-54 persons by the summer 2019 ratings book. That will enable me to earn a $3,000 bonus or put me in a strong position to re-sign at a higher salary.”
Add action steps:
Take one action step at a time, complete it and move on to the next one.
“The show will conduct a content mapping exercise by the end of this week.”
Additional steps to strengthen your goals:
Write down your goals. According to a Forbes article, “Vividly describing your goals in written form is strongly associated with goal success, and people who very vividly describe or picture their goals are anywhere from 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to successfully accomplish their goals than people who don’t.”
Set goals as a team to harness the power of group dynamics. Everyone writes down the agreed-upon goals and refers to them weekly.
Less is more in goal setting too. Twenty goals will be overwhelming and reduces the chance of success. Use the lucky or magical numbers for your goals. Stick with 3, 4, or 7 business and personal goals.
Acknowledge and be grateful for your progress. Be thankful for an uptrend, an increase in cume, or increased social media engagement.
Hold the vision. Don’t allow temporary setbacks to deter you. Monitor your inner dialogue, and stay focused on what you want to achieve, not want you don’t want.