7 SECRETS TO CREATING ACTIONABLE GOALS
Among yesterday’s tips for sticking to your New Year’s resolutions we mentioned breaking down your goals to make them easier. This is a really great technique that you can use for anything from work projects to the rehabilitation of an injury. It works because we all want to see results as quickly as possible.
You may think it’s already too late, the time for making resolutions and goals has passed. But it is never too late and now that you have the time, without the stress and full diary of the previous month, now is a great time to start planning for a great 2014!
Get yourself a planner or a notebook or open up a new file on your computer. Give yourself the time to do this properly, to think it through and make the best plan you possibly can.
- Ultimate goal. At the top of the page, write down your goal. If you have more than one goal, have a page for each, but don’t overwhelm yourself – don’t have more than three!
- Step one. Below each goal, write down how you’re going to achieve it in big steps, leaving a large gap between each step.
- The how. Now is the time for detail. Go back to each big step and break it down further into how exactly you will achieve these larger aspects of your ultimate goal. These are the more easily attainable goals.
- Set monthly targets. On the other side of the page, write down each month and what it is you want to achieve each month.
- Deadline. Set yourself a deadline for each small goal and put these in your diary. It’s easy to schedule them in your notebook and forget about them, by putting them in the diary you are committing to making these actions a part of your week.
- Weekly check in. Choose one day, preferably at the beginning or end of your week, where you take half an hour to go over the week, using your goal notebook and your diary. What goals had you scheduled in for that week, did you achieve them? Then plan the following week accordingly – maybe you need to catch up on something, maybe you’re ahead of the plan. Either way, check in on a weekly basis to see where you stand and where you need to go next. Be sure to check if you’re on course for your monthly targets too!
- Reward yourself. There is a great deal of satisfaction to be had in ticking off each goal and seeing yourself move through your year of goals, but it’s also good to reward yourself for hard work. Under your monthly goal, have a treat that you’ll give yourself for achieving it. Maybe a massage or a luxurious meal out.
Remember, this is not just for resolutions – everything can be broken down and made to feel more achievable through this method. It is also very easy to make work for you – maybe an notebook is too much for you, in which case fill out your goals in the note section of your diary. Customise this method and plan for your greatest year ever!