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5 tips for setting and getting….great goals in 2018

Let me wish you a most impactful 2018. May it be your best year yet!

“You have to set goals that are almost out of reach. If you set a goal that is attainable without much work or thought, you are stuck with something below your true talent and potential.” —Steve Garvey

I’ve experienced firsthand the fruit and fulfillment that comes from setting a goal and working hard toward it.

I’ve also learned that without goals, you’ll usually have nothing that you’re aiming for — and complacency and floundering are typically the result.

Goals give you passion, purpose, motivation, and drive. You wake up each day with intention; you have a plan and you have direction.

1. Set goals through the filter of your values and your roles.

It’s hard to prioritize your goals if you haven’t defined your values. What are your values, though? Values are what you judge to be the most important things in your life–the things that deep down, you care about the most. Given that definition, it seems like it would be easy to figure out your values. But it’s not always.

One of the best ways I’ve found to figure out your real values is the “What do I want?” exercise. It’s fairly simple. You take out a sheet of paper, and at the top, write, “What do I want?” Now, all you do is list the things you want. They can be as small and insignificant, or as large and pie-in-the-sky as you want. Anything that comes to mind goes on the list.

When you start this exercise, your first few wants will probably be fairly trivial and perhaps materialistic. As you keep writing, though, your deeper wants tend to emerge. Write until you can’t think of even one more thing to put on the list. Then, circle items on your list that are similar.

Try to identify three to five top values. I have personally identified 8 values, with family, contribution and financial independence as my top three values. I make sure my goals align with these values, and that our biggest goals are fulfilling our most important values.

What roles do you play in life? Business person; son/daughter; friend; community etc. By setting goals which strengthen your roles, the likelihood of achieving these goals increases.

2. Find a word that will help define 2018 for you!

My word for 2018 is ……Relentless

In the thriller movie, “Taken” starring Liam Nielsen, he demonstrates a relentlessness in pursuing those who abducted his daughter. It is that focus and commitment that draws me to the word. I seek to make 2018 a year of relentlessly moving towards my top ten goals.

 3.  Figure out your BHAG

Got your values figured out? Great. Now, what’s the one thing you want to achieve more than anything in 2018? Is there some big, hairy, audacious goal that’s hiding out in your heart, something you really want to go for, but that feels Impossible or scary? That’s probably a good sign you’ve found your BHAG. Take some time to really figure out what your BHAG is. Revisit your “What do I want?” sheet to see if anything sticks out. If you see “I want to write a book,” and feel simultaneously terrified and thrilled by the prospect, you’re probably on the right track. BHAGs feel a little scary, but they also feel thrilling. They make you think, “If I could do that…” and also, “I could never do that.”

4. Create guiding goals

Next, you’re going to create five to seven big goals for the year that will help you reach your BHAG. However, you want to make sure your goals are covering multiple areas of your life, not just one. So set one goal each for five to seven of the following categories:

  • Financial
  • Career
  • Health and wellness
  • Family
  • Free time
  • Faith and contribution
  • Friendship

5. Be accountable

Accountability is the key to follow through. Start with simple ways to keep yourself accountable: write your goals out (Don’t just keep them in your head! The act of writing them out is powerful) and then put them somewhere that you’ll see on a daily basis (such as your bathroom mirror or above your kitchen sink or on your fridge.)

I also recommend finding an accountability partner to check up with you on a regular basis and see how you’re doing. Not only can they serve as a cheerleader to keep you moving in the right direction, they can help you get back on track if you start veering off course.

Here’s to making 2018……your best year yet.

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