It's that time of year again when we set goals for the many different areas of our life. Although we may start the year with great enthusiasm, why is it that so many of us abandon our New Year's resolutions after a few weeks or months?
We can first look at what Stewart Friedman identifies as the four domains of our life: self, home, work, and community. We must clarify what is most important to us in each domain and ensure that our values are aligned with our actions. The measure of success in each domain depends on setting relevant goals and then taking the necessary steps to achieve them. A personal business coach can be of great assistance in this area by being a sounding board and providing accountability.
Anyone can set a goal. Doing the work is the hard part. But we must be careful when we set our goals as well. They must resonate with our core values and beliefs and not be influenced by external factors, such as the goals of others or the ways in which society defines success.
One of the best ways to ensure you achieve your goals is to follow the SMART method. SMART is an acronym that stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-boxed. A personal business coach can help you work through the SMART system:
- Specific: Being too general when setting goals is a recipe for failure. How can you get that promotion if you just say, "I'll work harder this year." You need to identify the specific actions you need to take, such as improving communication with your manager, providing leadership in team meetings, or collaborating with coworkers in more productive ways.
- Measurable: You need a way to assess your progress to make sure you're constantly moving forward. Setting milestones is an excellent way to take stock of your achievements thus far and enable you to break up your goal into incremental steps to make it psychologically more manageable.
- Achievable: It's important to be realistic when setting your goals. While you always want to push yourself, setting unrealistic goals will always result in a discouraging experience. A personal business coach can help you set practical goals that are both challenging and achievable.
- Relevant: Make sure your goal is something that really matters to you in each of your home, self, work, and community domains. Having a clear understanding of your core values is critical to determining whether a goal is relevant. A relevant goal is not only something you believe in, but also something about which you are passionate.
- Time-boxed: Most of us work best when there is a defined (and realistic) deadline. When you assign a deadline to your goal you are more likely to prioritize and have more focus. A personal business coach can assist with time-boxing your milestones along the way to give you extra motivation and encouragement.