If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to begin setting your goals for 2019. I am a big believer in goal setting and have done so for several years. I forget when I first began setting goals, but it started after I attended a Zig Ziglar seminar and heard him talk about the power of goal setting. I purchased his material (back then in was on cassette tapes) and began to work through it. I was amazed at how many of my goals I achieved and how productive I was throughout that year. I never looked back.
As part of preparing to set goals for 2019 I read an excellent book by Michael Hyatt called Your Best Year Ever: A 5-Step Plan for Achieving Your Most Important Goals. Part of it was information I already knew, but there was a lot of new material in it that will be helpful as I go forward. For instance, he references a study that demonstrated that writing one’s goals boosted achievement by 42 percent. I have always written out my goals and knew that doing so was instrumental in achieving them, but I didn’t realize how much of an impact writing out the goals had on achieving them.
In another place he wrote that people lose their way when they lose their why. Again, this is something I knew. In every written goal document I write out what achieving this goal will accomplish. That’s my why, but it was helpful to have the author confirm what I was doing was important.
Goals should include every area of your life: business or career, family, self-care, personal improvement, financial, health, etc. They should also include short-term, medium-term and long-term goals. However, you do not want too many goals or they become overwhelming and unmanageable. For most people 8-10 goals a year should be enough, and depending on how far out you want to achieve that goal will depend on how much you have to focus on it that particular year. For instance, if a long-term goal is to have X amount of money in retirement savings then you probably don’t need to address that goal every week. You just need to make sure you are taking the steps to get you there and then check on your progress when you get your account statements.
On the other hand, if your goal is to pay off a debt as quickly as possible, you will need to stay on top of this at least monthly. The key is to not wait until the end of the year to see if you achieved your goal but to stay on top of it throughout the year and track your progress.
I have found that having specific goals help keep me focused on the most important things that I have identified as important to me. If you do not have a plan for your life other people will, and their plan may not be the best one for you. It also makes me more productive because I can go from one task to the next without having to stop and think about what I need to be doing. Ziglar used to point out that our most productive days were often the ones just before we left for vacation. We knew what we needed to do before we left, and we made sure we did them. Working in accordance with our goals gives us that same laser focus.
If you want 2019 to be more productive and more beneficial to you and your family, begin now to set goals that will allow that to happen. I think you’ll be glad you did.