At the onset of each New Year, it’s tradition to go through the exercise of creating a list of resolutions. These lists commonly include things like losing weight, quitting a bad habit, being more productive, finding success . . .
When it comes to achieving these resolutions, the challenge doesn’t typically lie in identifying what we’d like to change. Nor is it very difficult for us to find the enthusiasm to make that change. Where we often fall short is creating a plan that effectively guides us to realizing the end goal. A goal – which is exactly what a resolution is – requires thoughtful and deliberate planning.
Below are a few “rules” that may help you follow-through on the resolutions you’ve made for the new year:
RULE #1: SET “S.M.A.R.T” GOALS
• Specific – make the goal clear and well-defined
• Measurable – include dates, financials, numbers or other tangible ways to measure success
• Attainable – make sure that you’re both willing and able to work towards the goal that you’ve set
• Realistic – set a goal that is possible to achieve, yet challenging enough to provide satisfaction when accomplished
• Time-Bound – your goals should have a deadline that ensures urgency and a commitment to achieving the goal
RULE #2: PUT YOUR GOALS IN WRITING [Source]
• Creating a permanent record of a goal makes it real and tangible
• Keeping your goal visible provides a reminder to you of your commitment
RULE #3: MAKE A PLAN
• Create actions steps to complete
• Track your progress and mark key accomplishments along the way – and celebrate them
• Review the plan regularly and make alterations as necessary
RULE #4: SHARE YOUR GOAL WITH A FRIEND OR COLLEAGUE
• Verbalize your goal to someone that can provide moral support and encouragement
• Other people that are aware of your goal may hold you accountable for achieving it – and may even help you along the way
Whether your New Year’s resolution is to grow your practice or is something more personal in nature, enthusiasm alone won’t see you through to success. Goal-setting is a critical skill that should be incorporated into your resolution-making this year and every year. Good luck and best wishes in the new year!