Are You Ready To Set 2017 Goals?

I know most folks are probably in the midst of preparations for the holidays and are busy with all of the tasks that go along with that. However, as the year is drawing to a close, now is the time to start thinking about goals for 2017, especially since you may be getting some time off from work (I hope you do). Hopefully, you may even find some time for some personal reflection and can spend some of that effort thinking about what 2017 may bring.

I recently attended an online webinar about goal-setting for 2017 (or any other time for that matter) that was hosted by Michael Hyatt. I also came across an article about some unconventional tips on setting goals (6 Tips for Goal-Setting That, Trust Me, They Don't Teach You in College). Hopefully, some of this will help you move beyond the typical mantra of setting SMART goals (smart, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-based). Since goal setting is such a personal matter,  don't feel like you need to stick to these methods or formulas - use them more as a prompt to help trigger the creative flow.

Hyatt broke the goal-setting process down into 7 steps, including the following:

  1. Clarify priorities - spend some time thinking about what is important to you, both professionally and personally
  2. Write down (strong) goals - be sure to write your goals down. Initially this may just be scratched on a piece of paper, but as you finalize them, I think it may help to clean them up and print them out so they can serve as a solid reminder for you - put them right in front of you! Also note they should be "strong" goals, which really means they should not be generalizations (e.g. lose weight) - this is where some of the SMART concepts may be helpful.
  3. Discomfort - goals should be stretch goals, which means they will likely cause some discomfort. If they don't, they are probably not a stretch.
  4. Stay motivated - Hyatt says you should be sure to identify your "why" for each goal. The "why" should be something that is meaningful to you, stimulates you, energizes you, or challenges you. Otherwise, as time passes you may become uninterested in sticking with the goal.
  5. Don't get overwhelmed - don't try to do too much at once. Instead, focus on the highest priorities and goals.
  6. Identify your next steps - this is what will get you started when January 2017 rolls around - knowing what the next action is for each of the goals. You don't have to have everything completely mapped out, but you should know what it is you need to do next in order to get going. Take that first step!
  7. Track your progress - create some personal KPIs or thermometers or whatever happens to work for you to monitor whether you are making any progress.

Phil La Duke adds some new insight to goal setting in his piece in Entrepreneur in which he covers some tips that may seem a little unusual:

  1. Write goals aligned with your values - this one is not really that unusual and essentially combines Hyatt's first two steps noted above.
  2. Goals that you control - be sure the goals you set are things you are able to control.
  3. Think big - shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will still be in flight.
  4. Time - be sure to realistically assess how long it may take to achieve your goals, especially the intervening steps. Long-term goals may extend beyond 2017, so for the coming year, try to get something accomplished that at least gets you moving in that direction.
  5. Plan to succeed - ask yourself the question "what if I succeed?" and don't worry about not being a success.
  6. Manage risks - know it is out there. You don't have to shy away from risk, but do be prepared to deal with it.

Good luck with your goal setting exercises!


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