OK...so let's spend the next few days really putting some energy into goal setting for 2008. Regardless of how successful you were this year, there is another level! You can do better. And if you are like me, there are many areas in which improvements can be made.
Before you start working on 2008, take inventory (AAR) of how you did in reaching your goals for 2007. Did you achieve any of them? If so, which ones...and why? Focusing on what made you successful and what you need to do to incorporate these positive lessons into your 2008 goals is critical. Similarly, which goals did you come up short...and why? Learning from your setbacks can turn a negative into a positive.
Finally with regard to last year's goals, did you write them down? Did you share them with anyone else? Did anyone help you as an accountability partner? Could any of these be contributing factors for why you might have come up short? Have no fear. These too can be turned around to make 2008 your best ever!
Vision. The very act of envisioning a better future is a powerful first step in setting your goals for next year. Where do you want to be at the end of the year? What will you look like? What does success mean...and how will you feel when you achieve it? Start with the end in mind and imagine the new you!
Goal Setting. Make your resolutions in a broad range of areas: Family / Home; Spiritual; Financial; Work; Education; help for others. Be bold and stretch yourself. If your goals don't make you a little uncomfortable, then you probably are not pushing hard enough! Make sure your goals are specific (I will run at least 3 times per week, at least 15 miles, and complete at least two half-marathons -- my goal! -- versus...I will run more in 2008). Make sure they are measurable (specific goals usually are!) and you can chart progress. Be realistic...but be BOLD!
Accountability. OK -- here is the hard part. If we are going to have any success toward achieving what we just came up with, we need to write down our goals...and share them with someone else. Find an accountability partner, someone who can be honest with you, whose feedback on your progress can offered, and accepted, without compromising your relationship! Share your 08 goals with your spouse or girlfriend (if you think she'll last through the year!), lifting buddy, or anyone else with whom you feel comfortable. Share them with me if you like! Then review them regularly -- at least quarterly, preferably monthly. Chart your progress and hold yourself accountable for moving forward toward your vision!
Good ideas for 2008.
-- Develop a "stop doing" list. Jim Collins (see his article here) suggests that among our best New Year's resolutions is one that might simplify our lives and help with time management. What could we stop doing in our personal and professional lives that has low return on investment or we are neither passionate about or good at? What might we stop doing in order to free up time to pursue our 2008 goals?
-- Can't think of good goals? Here are a few good lists to benchmark yourself: Bootstrapping Blog; Top 10 List; USA.gov.
-- Tim Ferriss (The 4-Hour Workweek) suggests that goals be in the categories of things we want to be (be a great cook, be fluent in another language), things we want to have, and things we want to do. Turning each of these into specific actions is a good place to start building your goals list.
I wish you great things in the next year. Be bold and audacious and set the bar high! Tell me how I can help you achieve success in 2008! Hooah!