We’re doing a special New Year’s series throughout January, sharing the expertise of our Career Coaches, Life Coaches, Image Coach and Executive Coach to give you the best tips to make sure 2015 is your year. Kicking-off, we have these 7 top coaching tips to keeping your New Year’s Resolutions longer than mid-January, from our Executive Coach Jasper Walshe.
Depending on your source, it’s commonly suggested that between 81% and 92% of New Year’s Resolutions fail. In other words, people fall back in to their old ways at least 8 out of 10 times.
There are countless potential reasons for such a high failure rate, so I just want to help you focus on that which you can control. Here’s my Seven Step Guide to Setting Effective Goals.
1. Establish the Why
If you’re setting a goal because it’s something you think you “should” do, then you will lack commitment very shortly. As with (Networking Essentials) Be Yourself. Set goals that you’re really motivated by – understand why you want to achieve a certain outcome. Ask yourself – “when I have achieved this outcome, how will I feel?”
2. One at a time
If you try to juggle too much, you may lose focus and engagement and experience a sense of overwhelm. Maintain momentum and confidence by taking one key goal at a time.
3. Break it Down
If the outcome you wish to achieve is beyond the 4 week mark then break it down into component parts. Where are you now? Where do you want to be? What needs to happen for you to achieve this longer-term goal? Set a stepping stone goal which is achievable within a 2 – 4 week timeframe.
4.Set a SMART goal – (it may be stating the obvious, but it is ignored all the time)
S – Specific. Your goal must be clear and defined. Goals show you the way forward. If they’re vague, they don’t provide sufficient direction
M – Measurable. How will you know when you’ve achieved your goal? Put some metrics on it at the outset and make it easier for yourself
A – Achievable. Be honest with yourself. Unattainable goals will demoralise you. Goals that are too easy are a waste of your time (except for changing behaviours and habits, more of that another time). Stretch yourself – between comfort and panic – that’s where the true sense of reward comes.
R – Relevant. What is relevant to your career/life direction about this goal?
T – Time-Bound. Put a date on it. Deadlines will add urgency to the already established importance.
5. Write it Down
There are numerous psychological reasons for this. But two logical ones are that it makes it tangible/real and easier to remember. Write it as a positive statement in the present tense (and keep it SMART) eg: “It is Jan 31st and I have 5 new clients on the book for 2015”. This helps you associate with the outcome and aids motivation.
6.Plan your Actions
It’s no use having lofty ideas without sitting down with your diary and allocating time for designated and relevant actions. Don’t fall into the “I’ll research…..” trap. You’ll drift into googleland and come up for air 3 hours later having achieved nothing. What information do you need? How is it relevant to achieving your goal? Where will you source it? Who could help you get it faster than acting alone?
The purpose and value of a goal is not actually the outcome, but the journey. It’s about how you develop in the process. Setting effective goals is the first and most critical step in increasing your self-awareness, so that you become the person capable of achieving the levels of success you want in your professional life. Stick at it, learn all the way through it and set new challenging goals. Strive to improve your levels of performance in a way that motivates you, play to your strengths. More of this to come in the next post.
If you’re interested in speaking to Jasper or one of our Coaches to discuss how 1-1 tailored coaching could support your goals in 2015 – Book your free phone consultation here!