Summer has officially ended, and we are into the fall season: the start of the school year or college semester for some, and time to work towards year-end business goals for others. Before long the leaves will have fallen from the trees, we will have gotten plenty of ice and snow, and many holidays and birthdays will have come and gone. Next thing you know it will be commencement time and summer will be here. We will have lived one more year.
The question is: Will we have accomplished something meaningful and memorable for us?
1. We can accomplish our goals by developing a realistic plan and following the guidelines below.
We need to decide what our primary goal (or two or possibly three) will be for this year. Is the goal to learn a new language, learn a new artistic technique, learn about other cultures, develop our business, develop physical body strength, lose weight, learn how to sell, build a web site, develop our retirement plan, increase our net financial worth, build an addition to our home, or digitize and organize our slides into a meaningful collection? While having many goals is nice, it’s better to select one or a few to really focus on. That way, they are more likely to be accomplished.
2. Write down approximately thirty steps required to achieve your goal(s). The idea is to complete one goal each week over the course of the next 30 weeks. Now evaluate these steps. Can each be completed within a week, in addition to all of your required day-to-day responsibilities, holiday preparations and other commitments? If so, terrific! If not, go back and reset your goal(s) or come up with a plan to reduce other activities so that you can meet your most important goals.
3. Enter each of these weekly steps on your calendar with a completion date of Tuesday (assuming you follow the normal Monday to Friday work/school schedule) and also make them into a detailed check list. If there is a week that you know will be super busy and you do not wish to work on your goal, that is OK. Skip it. Having only 30 steps allows for a few weeks to be skipped.
4. Each and every week try to complete your steps by Friday. If you miss them, you still have the weekend to make up for it, and if that fails, there is still Monday!
5. If you don’t meet the Tuesday goal, reset your calendar. More importantly, though, evaluate whether you were doing something more important than working to reach your goal. Reprioritize as necessary!
6. You did it! Now you can celebrate achieving your goal(s) and begin new challenges.
I would like to thank Dr. Margarita Posada Cossuto for helpful comments.
by Dr. Ronald G. Shapiro, Ph.D