BTW, this article was first published yesterday on the Indie Consultant Business Journal…
The difference between success and failure is typically attributed to many things such as: Leadership, Attitude, Persistence, People, Abilities, Ideas, Courage etc. The reality is that the difference between success and failure comes down to the small actions you take every day and whether or not those activities move you towards your eventual goals. So, let us focus on the Goals as a critical success factor whether it is in personal life or professional life.
Especially, at this time of the year, as we approach Christmas season, most businesses and corporations go thru performance review rituals for their staff. I always find the end of the year to be a time of reflection and review. It is also a time to evaluate the progress of your life purpose, goals and objectives that were set at the start of the year or the longer term goals set in previous years. Your life purpose, goals and objectives should be part of your Personal Development Plan.
The end of the year also offers a fresh start for activities that we had intended to do but never got around to doing them. Although I had previously stated that any day can be the start of the rest of your life, the end of the year can be a special time because it can provide closure to outstanding action items that may no longer be relevant, but also removing limiting beliefs by leaving them behind in the current year. The start of a new year provides the incentive to embark on a fresh action list and the motivation to get things done.
However, we quickly discover that the resolutions fade even before the first quarter of the calendar year is reached. It is not just about making New Year’s resolutions at the dawn of the New Year, it is about making a committed effort to set written goals and objectives for the coming year and for the medium to longer term timeframe.
Numerous studies have shown only 3% of the population set goals and only about 1% actually write them down. I challenge you to make a committed effort, to take ACTION, to review your previous goals and objectives, and/or to set new goals and objectives for 2014.
Start by identifying the major achievements and highlights for 2013. These could include work achievements, financial objectives, family highlights, personal development, educational achievements or personal (professional) success outcomes. Achievements should also be acknowledged and celebrated to ensure mental reinforcement and capitalizing on the motivation that this can provide to your subconscious mind. I try to reward myself when I achieve a particular goal or objective. For example, I will buy a gift for myself that reminds me of the success that I have achieved.
I use a visual journal filled with Goal Planning sheets to document my goals and objectives for the new calendar year. Then, I develop Action Plans for the major goals and objectives. Throughout the year, I periodically review my goals and revise any action plans that are not progressing as expected. You should also prepare a vision board which consists of a portfolio of visual material or a collage of images that portray your vision, goals and objectives. The vision board helps to stimulate your reticular activating system in your mind to reaffirm your subconscious.
I also identify a few missed opportunities or disappointments for the year. This allows me to learn from the experience so that I can strengthen my future plans moving forward. Go ahead and document the missed opportunities and disappointments. Ask yourself, “What could I have done differently to capitalize on the missed opportunities or overcame the disappointments?”, and document potential changes and actions for the future. Don’t spend too much time regretting the missed opportunities. The rest of your life starts now, therefore focus on your future goals and plans for 2014. Some of these goals could also be carried over from 2013. Particularly goals that were over-ambitious, which is common amongst high achievers.
I had also previously posted a number of blog entries that can provide further detailed information on developing your goals and objectives (see below). Furthermore, ask me for a Personal Development Plan Template that may also be used as a guide.
What are your key goals, objectives and action plans for 2014?
Have a merry Christmas and I wish you every success for the New Year in 2014!