4 STEPS TO CONSIDER WHEN SETTING PERSONAL GOALS
BY SARNEET SARAN
BY SARNEET SARAN
Many of us embark on the age-old new year’s tradition of setting resolutions — however, how often do we actually stick to the commitments we hope to accomplish? Roughly 80 percent of people who create well-intentioned yearly resolutions have abandoned them by the second week of February.
The new year doesn’t need to be the only time for us to pledge ourselves to self-improvement and goal-setting. Here are some key actionable tips you can easily implement to ensure that your resolutions can truly be productive in getting you one step closer to your desired growth trajectory!
A key first step prior to goal-setting involves reflection.
Look at the past year and consider the following:
Identifying both the highs and lows of the previous year in various areas of your life can be your launch pad to understanding how best to approach the coming year. If history is going to repeat itself, let it be because you made an intentional decision to do more of the things that bring out the best version of yourself.
After reflection comes prioritization.
We all have countless things to juggle every day in both our professional and personal lives. Narrow down your insights from the past year to identify which aspects you want to continue focusing on in the coming year, and which may be worth letting go. This will be key to preventing bouts of burnout (or “boreout” as Adam Grant puts it) and fatigue in the upcoming year and can also make room for any new opportunities that arise in the new year.
Make a list of your priorities, reference them throughout the year, and use them as a guide in making decisions big and small.
Next comes the goal-setting stage.
To set goals that you can easily and confidently pursue in the coming year, use the SMART methodology to guide your approach.
S – Specific: Make sure your goals are specific to a narrow aspect of your life and are clear about what the desired improvement is (e.g. I want to invest more time into improving my workplace communication skills).
M – Measurable: Add a quantitative element to your goals to make your progress easier to track (e.g. you can track how many hours you spend on improving your communication skills weekly or monthly).
A – Actionable: Ensure you can act upon your goals, especially within your existing constraints. Leverage technology if you can. Is there an app that will support your efforts? (e.g. if your schedule is particularly busy, find online communication skill-building courses that fit within your work schedule).
R – Relevant: Are your goals aligned with your larger dreams and desires? Identify clearly the WHY behind your goal — this will be a key motivator for you to continuously pursue your goal. (e.g. I want to improve my communication skills to become a better manager and leader within my company).
T- Time-bound: Set a clear timeframe for when you want to embark on your goal, and when you hope to see tangible results. Aligning your timeframe with clear measurable metrics can also help you stay on track with your goal as time passes. Setting a reassessment date for your goal (e.g. at the end of the year) can also be helpful to allow you to assess your progress and determine whether your goal is worth continuing to pursue.
This last step is often the hardest — staying consistent with your goal.
After all, you can’t get fit by going to the gym only once a year. Find ways to hold yourself to your goal through setting reminders, having an accountability partner (or group), or joining a program that keeps you motivated. Don’t let small slip-ups deter you from continuing towards your dream.
Is professional development one of your goals for this year?
If so, our LifeHikes® professional training might be a great fit for you. Whether you are looking for a single training or a multi-week learning journey, LifeHikes makes it easy for you to stay consistent and accountable with your skill development across multiple areas tailored to your preferences, whether communications, leadership, management or sales.