Is this crazy or what? December has completely snuck up on us. Did you know that there are only 6 “work days” left between now and December 22nd when things will shut down for the holidays? While December is a month of celebration and cheer, it’s also the time to get planning for a successful 2017.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “What you don’t measure you don’t improve”?
I started this writing last week thinking that I would be writing to you about New Year resolutions, but the more that I dug through my past resolutions, I found that I have never succeeded with almost any of them. Some of my past resolutions have been; lose weight, become more physically active, be a better life partner (I hope that I have made some headway with this one), be a better parent, be a better person, prospect for more of this or that kind of insurance lines of business, etc.. This quote became so poignant when I read it.
Don’t get me wrong; I think that New year Resolutions may be worth making for some, but, perhaps they are a guideline for us to follow, rather than an exact recipe that will place more pressure on our already overburdened lives.
It’s certainly true in business, sports, and science, but what about in life? How do you measure progress in your life? With work or business, we could use our income. But what about our health, relationships, or intellectual growth?
So, are You ready for 2018?
Will 2018 be your best year yet?
What are you doing to make 2018 your best year yet?
I will be truthful with you, I failed a lot in 2017, but also had many successes. I have learned from those failures, and hope to harp on the achievements.
Do you know the feeling; I mean the failure feeling?
Don’t use the “failure feeling” to rekindle those strong negative emotions (it’s not easy, especially if they were severe). Instead, I hope that you learn from your failures as I do.
Like many people, I sometimes struggle to stay focused on my goals. Week in and week out, there is always a “new way of doing things” or a “new shiny whistle” that tries to take my attention away from what is important.
While planning and goal setting is vital in the business world, I hope that you don’t forget that it is just as important to establish goals for your personal life. Don’t forget that without our health and our relationships, many of our lives would be meaningless!
Setting and achieving your goals may be difficult, but there is help available. Here are few of my recommendations:
Here’s what Michael Hyatt says about goal setting:
Make them “SMART.” This is an acronym, as you probably know, and it is interpreted in various ways by different teachers. When I refer to SMART goals, I mean goals that meet five criteria. They must be:
- Specific—your goals must identify exactly what you want to accomplish in as much specificity as you can muster.
- Bad: Write a book.
- Good: Write a book proposal for The Life Plan Manifesto.
- Measurable—as the old adage says, “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.” If possible, try to quantify the result. You want to know absolutely, positively whether or not you hit the goal.
- Bad: “Earn more this year than last.”
- Good: “Earn $5,000 more this year than last.”
- Actionable—every goal should start with an action verb (e.g., “quit,” “run,” “finish,” “eliminate,” etc.) rather than a to-be verb (e.g., “am,” “be,” “have,” etc.)
- Bad: Be more consistent in blogging.
- Good: Write two blog posts per week.
- Realistic—you have to be careful here. A real goal should stretch you, but you have to add a dose of common sense. I go right up to the edge of my comfort zone and then step over it. (If I am not out of my comfort zone, I’m not thinking big enough.)
- Bad: Qualify for the PGA Tour.
- Good: Lower my golf handicap by four strokes.
- Time-bound—every goal needs a date associated with it. When do you plan to deliver on that goal? It could be by year-end (December 31), or it could be more near-term (September 30). A goal without a date is just a dream. Make sure that every goal ends with a ‘by when’ date.
- Bad: Lose 20 pounds.
- Good: Lose 20 pounds by December 31st.
Once you have SMART goals for your professional and personal life, make sure to Write them down and place them in a visible location, like on your desk or the refrigerator (I have my goals taped to the wall in my closet).
Click here for more information on Michael Hyatt’s goal setting techniques.
Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.
I hope that you have a happy, prosperous and safe new year!