With the new year nigh, it is once again that time to assess and reassess, to plan and prioritize, and to make extraordinary resolutions for the future. In reality, resolutions are simply goals. So in the spirit of this period of goal setting insanity, let’s delve a little bit into how to set feasible goals (for the purposes of business of course, fantastic and incredible journeys may still be applied to your personal resolutions ;) ).
If you have read about or attended a seminar or class on goal setting, the SMART mnemonic will most likely have been encountered. Generally, as applied to goal setting, this stands for: S – Specific, M – Measurable, A – Attainable, R – Relevant, T – Time-Bound. The objective of applying this concept is to apply focus and constraints to a goal, rather than having it be very open ended and vague.
As an example, let’s say the goal is to attend NAA University to increase your skills, knowledge, and earning potential. Instead of setting your goal as “To attend NAA University,” employing SMART allows a more compelling goal, such as “To have passed the NAA University exam by June 1, 2012.” It’s a small change, but it has a specific objective that is measurable and attainable, relevant to your career, and bound by time limits. Making this adjustment allows objectives to be set to achieve the goal via proper planning and time management, whereas being ambiguous leaves open multiple opportunities to let the goal slip through your fingers or be left until the last moment, where things would need to be rushed.
When establishing your goals use positive expression. Doing so will aid in making the work involved with achieving it a positive experience, and each time you reference that goal will leave a constructive impression on you. Using the above example, “To have passed the NAA University exam by June 1, 2012” will have a more encouraging bearing than “Don’t fail the NAA University exam when you’re taking it this spring.” Be aware that sometimes you may need stronger language to help give the motivation you need to achieve a goal. By strong language, think of altering our example to “I will pass the NAA University exam by June 1, 2012.” Altering the wording in this manner can help to eliminate potential escape loopholes and excuses.
Record your goals somewhere and place them in a visible spot. Putting them in ink, so to speak, will help to cement and hold you accountable for them. Remember your time management techniques and don’t be afraid to prioritize multiple goals and make an actionable plan to achieve them. This is frequently overlooked, but leaving out this step is sabotaging your efforts. Have your plan together and stick with it!
While it’s important that your goals are realistic and attainable, don’t be afraid to challenge yourself with stretch goals. These are excellent for developing skills and your character. Remember that it is okay not to meet a goal too. Strive to meet or exceed them, but realize it isn’t always possible, and simply take what you can learn from the experience and use it to further empower your efforts on the next one.
From all of us here at National Agents Alliance headquarters, Happy New Year! We all look forward to continued fun and success in 2012!