Usually January is a big month for most people to set new goals, revisit old goals and have that internal pep talk that this will be the year to accomplish those big goals once and for all! Here are some of my key tips for making that happen.
First, let’s talk about habits. Habits are unbelievably important. Developing the right habits is a huge part of making the most of your time and mental resources. When you invest time, energy, focus, and discipline in creating a habit pattern out of the behaviors that help you progress toward your goals, it requires less mental energy to perform them. This frees up your time, focus, and energy for other things. It allows you to do more, and more enjoyably. When you make the effort to discern the habits necessary to accomplish your goals, and then do the work to establish those habit patterns, you receive constant dividends on that upfront investment through the year.
Your time, energy, and focus are finite. They are precious. Being efficient and using those resources sustainably is the difference between success and falling short. Habits are the key to being efficient. For this reason, let me encourage those of you who want to make your goals happen in 2017 to be generous with yourself in committing the time, discipline and effort upfront to choosing the right habits and developing them. Great things will follow!
For businesses, there is a similar need to be sure that efforts are organized and predictable ahead of the accomplishment you intend to achieve. The complexity of the discovery task for inventorying the systems and processes required to meet your organizational goals may be greater than the same task for an individual, but the first step is simple. Here are some of the questions you need to answer to get clarity on how specifically to achieve your company goals:
- Do we have the systems in place to do it?
- Do we have the processes in place to sustain it?
- Do we have the right teams/people in place to get us there?
- Do we have the right people in the right place to keep us there?
- Do we have the right people on the team to set new goals and take us to new levels?
The answers to these questions will help you see more clearly what the effort toward achieving the goal will actually look like. Making the first steps to clarity here makes the difference between having goals and making plans.
When it comes to goals, one thing you might be glad to know is that often, as we become more successful and capable, we can set too many goals for ourselves. This dilutes our effectiveness. Setting 3-5 goals for a 3-year period is a good place to start. Then, look at the year ahead, and break each goal down to what you need to get done each quarter. It’s freeing to know that saying no to the goals you aren’t ready for now will set you up for bigger goals next year.
One of my core values is that we should always be learning and growing. People and companies are either swimming or sinking, growing or declining. We can only tread water so long before we get too tired and have to get out of the water and watch from the bleachers.
So do it. Learn. Grow. With a little upfront preparation, we have the very real ability to set the goals we truly want to accomplish, establish the habits and systems to make the effort manageable, and do what it takes to achieve our goals and grow personally and professionally.
Wishing you all the best in 2017,