At the end of every year, people tend to pause, and reflect and decide what they want to accomplish each year. Actually, I do this daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly as well as yearly. It is not enough to do it once a year and then forget about it. However whether it is the end of the year or not, one must have a strategy to accomplish whatever ones goals and dreams are.

1.Have a vision: What is it that you want to accomplish? Where do you see yourself in six months time? Where do you see yourself in one year, five years, 10 years? You cannot achieve what you cannot conceive.

2. Get organized: Decide what is is that you want to do and develop a plan to pursue it. There is a difference between goals, plans, and strategies. Let me give you a hint: a New Year’s resolution is neither one of those three!  A goal is the end result that you desire. For example if you weighed 160 pounds and you wanted to be 150 pounds, your goal could be “I want to be 150 pounds in the next 12 months”. You cannot achieve a goal without a plan to achieve it. So your plan would be to lose 10 pounds. Losing 10 pounds is not the goal, that is the plan to achieve the goal. Next comes the strategy. Your strategy might be to give up sugar, or to exercise in your local gymnasium five days a week for 30 minutes. Another strategy could be to get a partner and jog in the park for an hour a day. I call this the GPS method. Goal. Plan. Strategy. This will work for almost anything. Get organized with your plans and strategies.

3. Like-minded people: Get to know people who are in the process of doing what you are trying to do. These people will encourage you on your journey, hold you accountable, and keep you on your toes.

4. Mentors: Get to know people who have already accomplished what you are trying to accomplish. They can point you in the right direction, and help you avoid pitfalls that they themselves have avoided. Mentors can help ground you.

5. Dream killers: Dream killers, naysayers, haters. These are people who will give you 1001 reasons why an idea would not work. This does not mean that you should not consider opposing views to your idea. However the spirit in which those opposing views are given will let you know who is offering constructive criticism, and who is just trying to kill your dream.

6. Pursue excellence: Starting small does not mean that you should be mediocre. Develop excellence in the execution of your projects no matter how small. Get the best that you can get for the budget that you have. Do the best that you can with what you are given.

7. Fear not/do it afraid: Fear paralyzes, fear is a dream killer. I once met someone who weighed almost 400 pounds but was afraid to go to a gym. She said that she was scared that people would be looking at her and judging her. I managed to talk her out of her fear. However if I was unable to talk her out of it, I would have just advised her to do it afraid, anyway. Everything you want, is on the other side of your fear.

8. Keep learning: There is always more to learn on the journey to where you are going, and you have never “arrived”. Whatever it is you plan to do, it is likely that you need more knowledge as your plan unfolds. Make up your mind, that you will be a lifelong learner.

9. Relevant information: Piggybacking off of point 8, Make sure that the information you are obtaining is relevant to what it is that you want to accomplish. For example if all you want to do is lose 20 pounds and be fit, there is no use going to find out what steroids you need to develop big muscles. If you want to become a doctor, there is no need to pursue a degree in social sciences. Rather, you would be best served by pursuing a degree in biological sciences. In this age of information overload, prioritize relevant information.

10.Work, work, work, work, work, work, work: You have to put in the effort. You have to show up, and show up at your best. No matter how much organization, mentors, relevant information, like-minded people, learning, and excellence that you have, you still need to get the job done. If you are a writer that means writing. If you are trying to lose weight, that means eating right and exercising. If you are trying to get rich, that means working, creating businesses, and investing. If you are trying to get married, that means consistently being present in places and spaces where members of your… ahem… “target market” hang out. For example, for me, building a business from scratch means constantly writing, constantly creating programs, constantly networking to find new clients, and constantly seeking new referrals. There is no escape from doing the work.

What other strategies do you have for goal setting?

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