We often put a lot of pressure on the new year, setting New Year’s Resolutions to force ourselves to achieve more or change our behaviour. But can you even remember what Resolutions you set for yourself last year?
In a study in 2007, psychologist Professor Richard Wiseman found that 52% of participants were confident they would achieve their New Year’s Resolution – but 88% failed.
Let’s change that.
Instead of waiting for the New Year and setting a New Year’s Resolution, set yourself personal goals every three months.
At Happy, we have introduced Radical Disruptions – a single goal that we would like to achieve each quarter. This gives us one thing to focus our energy on and to improve – rather than having lots of things to do or setting one goal at the start of the year that rapidly loses momentum (or sometimes, even relevance). Quarterly, three-monthly goals have a much higher chance of success – it feels much more manageable, increasing motivation and enhancing your performance.
Goal setting will help you become the best you can be – both at home and at work.
Here is our four-step guide to setting and achieving your goals.
What is your goal?
Take a few days to think on it and reflect on what you really want to achieve. What will make you feel happy and accomplished? These can be big goals that might take a year (or more) to accomplish – as long as they can be broken down into smaller steps to get you there.
What milestones do you need to accomplish to achieve this?
Once you know what the end result should be, you should then break your goal down into smaller progress milestones that you can carry out over the next three months (or 13 weeks). These should be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based.
What are you going to do over the next 13 weeks to get you there?
Now, break these down into your daily and weekly actions. This should be the daily activities or tasks you need to complete to reach your milestones, and, ultimately, hit your goal. By knowing what you need to achieve, you can plan out the next three months (or 13 weeks). This makes your end goal much more manageable and far less intimidating!
For example, your goal might be to have 1,000 new customers. Your milestone might be to improve your sales conversions by 15% in three months. One of your actions might be to send 50 prospecting emails per day to new customers.
Evaluate and Review
And of course, once you have started to work on your goal, ensure you Evaluate and Review your progress each week – this way you will stay motivated by seeing how much you have achieved over time. And if you do get behind, you can get yourself back on track. You might also find after the first month that your goal is no longer what you want to achieve after all – or perhaps it is overly ambitious and needs to be broken down into smaller steps and milestones?
Don’t forget to celebrate your progress and what you have achieved when you are reviewing your goals, especially at times when you are feeling like you haven’t done as much as you hoped.
You can set your goals anytime. Don’t wait until January, or the first of the month – the best time to start is now!