It is hard to believe that it is the middle of December already. Pretty soon, we will turn the page on 2021. Think back to the beginning of this year with me: did you have anything you wanted to accomplish in 2021? If you answered in the affirmative, were you successful in achieving your goal? As we prepare to enter 2022, here is some advice related to setting goals:
- Be Realistic – Do yourself a favor and, when you are setting your goal, be kind to yourself. I enjoy playing golf, but I am not a very competitive player. At my current handicap, it would be unreasonable for me to expect myself to be a scratch golfer by the summertime. Setting realistic goals will help ward off the excessive discouragement that can cause people to give up easily.
- Foster Accountability – After you formulate a realistic goal for yourself, set up some accountability to help you stay on track. This can take multiple forms such as writing your goal down in a place that others can see or communicating your goal to the people in your life that know you best (and be sure to invite them to keep you accountable).
- Make It Measurable and Specific – Ideally, your goal should be one that is specific enough in nature that you can measure your progress. Let’s compare two goals: to “improve my golf game” versus to “achieve a fifteen handicap”. The less specific the goal is, the harder it will be to measure your progress.
- Keep Track – Maintaining a record of your progress towards your goal will help you stay motivated. Seeing how far you have come from where you started can be a rewarding thing. Progress can be a silent process, so keeping track of where you are in relation to your goal will help you stay the course and make the necessary changes when you get off track.
What about you? What goals did you have for 2021 and, as the year winds down, how much progress did you make towards your intended goal? If you did not achieve your goal, what can you learn from that experience to help inform your goal-setting for the new year?