Tag Archives: Smart Goals

Developing Your Strategic Plan For The Future – Part 2

28 Dec

Goals are the fuel in the furnace of achievement. – Brian Tracy

We’ve all experienced it.  The dreaded New Year’s Resolution that we haphazardly make on the 1st of January only to completely forget about it by the 1st of March (sometimes sooner). I believe that one of the reasons that New Year’s Resolutions don’t work is because we set outrageous goals for ourselves and don’t really assess how to achieve them. Then we plow wholeheartedly into the goal for the first few weeks only to become burned out and discouraged. As part 2 of my Strategic Planning series we’ll delve into goal-setting & more importantly goal-keeping.

So by now, you’ve completed Step 1 of your Strategic Plan and have fully assessed your 2009.  Also by now you’ve hopefully gone out and celebrated the end of an awesome 2009.  Here’s what Step 2 looks like:

Step 2:  Determine Goals for Upcoming Year:

  • Determine your  Compelling Vision or Theme for the Year
  • Outline your Goals
  • Make sure goals are SMART
  • Bridge the Gap
  • Stay Motivated

Compelling Vision – This is something new that I just incorporated into my goal setting process. I read about it on The Art of Non-Conformity blog – the author has a similar planning process for his upcoming year. Think about what you want 2010 to represent? Determining a compelling vision for the year can help shape your goals and bring everything together under one umbrella. Your compelling vision should help give you an extra kick when the motivation is low because you are working towards a greater goal. My theme for 2009 was Renaissance and my theme for 2010 is Expansion.

Outline your Goals in Buckets – A lot of us have a ton of things we want to accomplish and thinking about all of them at the same time can be über overwhelming. I like to break my goals into buckets to make them more clear and achievable. Here are my buckets for 2010: Education Goals, Fitness Goals,  Life Balance Goals, Safiya Beauty Goals and Polka Dot Coaching Goals. Every major goal I’d like to accomplish can be put into one of these buckets. This makes it easier for me to determine where I’m going.

Make sure Goals are SMART – A lot of the times we develop goals for ourselves that are not Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic or Time-sensitive which is just setting ourselves up for failure. Make sure that your goal contains each of these aspects. What will it look like if you accomplish the goal? Develop a statement for a successful end result: I will train for and complete a half marathons by May 1st 2010.

Bridging the Gap – Now we should bridge the gap between reality and our goal. Sure I’d like to run a half marathon but where am I right now? What do I need to do to get there? Outline your specific action steps for each goal. Your action steps will evolve as you continue to make progress towards your goal. Make sure your action steps are realistic and you are not biting off too much to chew.

Motivation – Think about what keeps you motivated and incorporate that into your goals. Take the time to celebrate small victories and re-adjust your goals & action steps if necessary. For example, I bought a new Levenger binder for myself after becoming certified as a coach. Another way to stay motivated is to think of all of the reasons you may fail and then plan for them. This way when the excuse comes up you are prepared to combat it. Another trick I learned when I first started running was to develop a personal mantra. Mine was “sexy, healthy legs” and I would think that when I felt like stopping.

So hopefully you feel armed to tackle some good goals for the upcoming year. Outlining where I wanted to go and developing goals to get there really helped me dig out of my 20-something crisis. What do you think? Is this helpful? Do you have goal-setting techniques that work for you?As always, feel free to share them with me.

Have a Happy &  Safe New Year!