In under three months, we will say good-bye to 2019 for good! A new year will approach, and while that tends to be the most popular time to set goals (or, resolutions) it doesn’t need to be the only time. Goal setting is important when it comes to family life, career and your health and wellness. Success doesn’t just happen! You’ve got to have a plan, with direction and focus on what it takes to achieve your goals. Read on to learn about the 5 goal setting rules necessary for success.

 

What motivates you?

When determining goals, it is imperative that the goal is truly important to you. There needs to be value in achieving your goals. Take a look at the big picture, if it doesn’t really matter, then you won’t put in the work to make it happen. Motivation is key to achieving goals. Identifying priorities in your life will help you determine goals of value that you’ll be committed to.

 

Are your goals SMART?

You may have heard the acronym SMART before, in terms of goal setting. If not, SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time bound. For goals to be powerful, they need to be created SMART.

Goals must be clearly defined. Stray away from generalizations, as the vagueness leads to a lack of direction. Measurable goals include precise dates, amounts or other information. “I want to lose weight” isn’t measurable. “I’m going to lose 5 pounds each month until I get to a 20 pound loss, by going to the gym 3 times a week for 60 minutes” is more specific and far more measurable. Just as important as setting specific and measurable goals, they also need to be realistic and attainable. Setting unrealistic goals will only demoralize you and erode confidence. Yet, setting “easy” goals isn’t really worthwhile either. Strike a balance between goals that you’ll need to work at, but can eventually be achieved with effort. Relevant goals are also key, as they will be aligned with the direction you would like your life and career to take. Lastly, be sure goals come with a time stamp. A deadline creates a sense of urgency and also indicates when you’ve reached success.

Are you writing goals down?

There’s power in memorializing your goals with pen and paper. The physical act of writing makes goals real. Take a strong stance with written goals by using words such as “I will” instead of “I would like to.” Post your written goals somewhere so that you’ll see them often!

Do you have an action plan?

Goals are great, but you also need a plan of attack. Identifying the steps you need to take is integral in achieving your goal. Think of the process as a step-by-step “to do” checklist. If it’s a big, long-term goal this step is even more important. An action plan shows that you’re making progress toward your ultimate goal.

Are you sticking with it?

This last step is often overlooked. Goal setting is not a means to an end, it’s an ongoing activity. Keep yourself on task with monthly, weekly and even daily reminders. Build time into your schedule to review goals and revise accordingly. While your goal may remain, as time goes on your action plan will likely need to be altered. Ensure goal necessity, value and relevance remain high as time progresses.

 

Accomplishing goals is far easier if you know how to set them appropriately. Goal setting is a process that takes careful consideration. However, if you follow a goal setting plan and work tirelessly at putting it in motion, success will be yours!