It’s that time of year when everyone looks to the future with optimism and hope of good things to come.
Setting goals for the New Year is a long embraced tradition that crosses generational lines and is prominent in most every culture. Almost everyone finds value in placing their best foot forward by starting fresh on the New Year.
While setting a goal is of relative ease, putting yourself in a good position to achieve them is an entirely different matter. For years much has been said about how to go about doing this successfully. We are told they should be SMART goals; specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time bound. This is one of many excellent approaches. One well-know trainer and mentor of mine suggested no less than twenty-six things you need to do in order be proficient at goal setting. I thought it a bit much when I had to make it a goal just to memorize the twenty-six items! When it came right down to it, I found four of the twenty-six necessary for my day-to-day success in pursuit of worthwhile goals. But there is much more to goal setting than just a nice list of things you write down to accomplish in a new year.
Goals only make up one third of the formula for successfully attaining the things you are after. Aspiring, setting and striving towards goals is a journey. There are two other components to effectively achieving a goal and each should be given equal attention if you plan to expedite your success. The goal is only that which you aspire to, priorities and value must also be brought into play. Priorities are where you choose to place your focus, and values are how you measure the importance of those things which you believe are worth your time and attention. Setting goals is the first step in this process. Making your goal a priority is the second and often times more difficult step. Learning the value and the lessons during your journey on the path to achieving goals is just as important as the goal itself. So let us have a closer look at what really empowers goals. Lets take on a new perspective. Lets look at them through a different lens, in order to examine the process more closely and see what else we must pay attention to in setting and achieving goals.
Here are three ways to expedite goal setting by getting clear on your priorities in the process:
Once your goals are set you can simply label them as an A, B or C priority. You can also look at them as good, better or best. Another way to examine them is to interpret them as something you like, want or need. These are simple ways to put things into perspective, set up priorities and get started quickly.
Coaches will often help clients by first using benchmarks to bring order to the goal setting process. Breaking them down into categories such as professional, personal, career, financial, aspirations, physical, family and spiritual provide a comprehensive ordering of one’s goals. In so doing you afford yourself an opportunity to compare them and set up priorities.
The most sophisticated way to approach goals and priorities may best be managed with the help of a more thorough tool. I highly recommend using a pair analysis matrix to give perfect balance to the comparative process. This mathematical tool will compare each goal with one another in an orderly and objective fashion. The Pair Analysis Goal Setting Matrix exercise is a unique opportunity to bring objectivity when setting priorities. I have used this tool on many occasions and have seen extraordinary results, even personal revelation when done with care. The power of this tool is based on the fact that the source is untainted, and comes solely on the personal opinion of that individual.
Without priorities, goals get lost in the complexities of life. No matter how well intentioned, goals are rendered ineffective if they are not prioritized. Goals deserve a chance. Whether an A, B or C, Good, Better or Best, or Like, Want or Need your goals can best be served with the care of an extra step by prioritizing them! So, whether simple or sophisticated, pull your act together by making your goals a priority. Your priorities are just as important as the goal itself. So embrace the journey of setting, prioritizing and realizing the value of the goal setting process – it can change the course of your life!
In the spirit of success,
Vice President, Entrepreneur Life, Inc.
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