This is usually the time of the year when I write an article or two about goal setting. You know, it’s the season, right? The stress (good and bad) of the holidays is upon us and everyone is looking to 2017 and their New Year’s Resolutions. However, this time around is going to be different. Instead of giving you helpful tips on setting goals, which I think is still super beneficial, I am going to address the chicken (or is it the egg?). Regardless, my focus is going to be on the front end of setting goals, that is, before you actually get to putting them on paper.
I firmly believe that many individuals do not succeed with attaining their goals because they do not approach it the proper way. What if you want to run a marathon next year? Great! Having goals are extremely important in life. However, let’s look at the background information that you actually need before setting that goal. Did I peak your interest? Keep reading!
Before setting a goal, it is first important to reflect not only on the goal itself and the process but if you are in the right place in your life to actually set yourself up for success. What I mean is have you done a personal, professional, and social inventory to first determine your success rate? Let’s go through each of these in a bit more detail.
Personal inventory includes stepping back and evaluating what you have going on in your life that may promote and deter your goal setting process. Are you in a new relationship? Are you injured? Can you carve out enough personal time to devote to achieving your goal? What about your family commitments? Do you have children and are they entering a busier time of the year with their school or sports? All of these factor in to the amount of time that you can, or cannot, devote to yourself.
Professional inventory is all about your work. Is this a busy time of the year, working more hours? Do you have major projects looming that require more of your time and attention? Often times, we don’t factor in our work schedule in our personal goal schedule. I have seen far too many individuals be unsuccessful in their goal process because something at work that is either overlooked or unexpected comes up and throws a huge monkey wrench in the process.
Lastly, social inventory looks at your involvement in personal relationships. This sometimes overlaps into personal but more often is the product of you giving your time and energy in the friendships that you have. Will you be providing more support to some of your friends in the next few months? Will you have more social gatherings or outings that are socially rewarding but challenge your time to achieve your new goals you may have set for yourself? These social outlet, while extremely beneficial, can significantly slow your progress if you don’t factor them in ahead of time.
As you can see, there are a few points of reflection that are necessary before actually developing your goals and putting them on paper. If you take a little time on the front end of the goal setting process, it is more likely that you will see more success in whatever goal(s) you set for yourself in 2017.
Here’s to a great holiday season and 2017!