Yes, it’s that time of year again when we start thinking about our goals for the coming year. Before the New Year begins is the perfect time to see what you have achieved over this last year and identify what you have yet to achieve.
Reviewing your achievements is a great place to start. This will remind you that your goals are doable, and will give you the enthusiasm to get down to business with your new set of goals. After acknowledging your achievements, take a look at your uncompleted goals, revise them as needed, and start your list for next year with those. If you are like us you will have several to get you started!
So how can you better prepare to achieve your goals in the coming year? Here’s the checklist we use:
- Clearly State your Goals. Seems simple enough, but it actually requires some thinking. Adding in details will create a stronger image in your mind. So, under the goal of “Clean the attic,” for instance, write “Reorganize the boxes into categories of tax files, holiday decorations, camping gear, etc.; toss out the unused items; donate old clothes.” Be sure your goals are reasonable. What kills most goals it that they are unreasonable.
- State your Deadline. Just putting a deadline on your goal throws a switch in your brain that says, “We’re really going to do this!” Is it doable in just one year? Or is it part of some master five-year plan? If you want to use that camping gear next summer, then put in an earlier date. Be sure to include your life goals – some people call this their “bucket list” – and record the progress you make towards them throughout the year.
- Identify your Strategic Allies. Make a list of the folks who you will need to work with in order to achieve your goal, and what is in it for them. List what you need from each person. Again make sure it’s reasonable. They are helping you, so don’t blame them if they don’t come through.
- Lay out the Sequence. Plan the chain of events that are dependent upon each other to bring your goal into fruition. Understanding the interdependencies will give you the confidence to keep going. What has to happen first, second, and third? Determine the milestones. Important – get started on the first milestone immediately.
- Identify the Lead Times. How long does each sub-section of your goal take? Who has to be notified, give approval, or complete a project? How much notice do they need? Work backwards to discover when each detail needs to be accomplished. This way you won’t be surprised by a road block you could have seen coming and easily removed with adequate preparation.
- Track your Status. Put your goal and your strategy to achieve it at the top of the page and enter your progress weekly. If you have no progress one week, that’s a great time to review your past progress posts. This will give you the confidence that you are making progress. It’s also a great time to review your goal, your plan, your allies, and your lead times. It is okay to make practical adjustments as you go.
- Celebrate! Yes, plan a reward for yourself and others for achieving the goal. Maybe it is a camping trip once you clean the attic! Maybe it’s a dinner out, a party, or a purchase, but it is an acknowledgement that you have succeeded. Plan the reward when you set your goal to create the mental picture of yourself as happy and fulfilled after having achieved your goal. There’s nothing like a prize to make you want to win!
We have kept a goal book for years, which we regularly review. So, what’s stopping you now? Use this checklist to begin achieving your goals today!
Who We Are
Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.
Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.
They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) to help entrepreneurs become successful. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.
Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular brand building site at www.consumerbrandbuilders.com.
To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.