Setting New Goals? Not so Fast.

As we begin to wrap up another 12-month span, there is a flurry of chatter focused on setting new goals for the new year. Wait. There’s another step to take before you identify your next set of impossible-to-miss goals. Before we can look forward and plan, we need to look back and evaluate the path we’ve been walking.

Take measure

You don’t ever want to bite off more than you can chew. Take a good, honest look at the goals you’ve been working toward this past year. Did you meet them? Have you made progress? Are you ready for a new endeavor, or should January be a time to rededicate yourself to goals you haven’t quite obtained yet?

Skip the Pass/Fail

The stats regarding the stick-to-it-ness of Americans when it comes to New Year’s Resolutions aren’t good. Based on a study out of the University of Scranton, over half us abandon ship by June. There are many reasons why we toss in the towel, but one of them is surely that we’re viewing our goals in stark terms of pass/fail. Hopefully, however, you didn’t do this. You set realistic goals with measurable checkpoints. Now, as you sit down to evaluate your success, you’ve got progress milestones to check. The keyword being ‘progress.’ Don’t judge your year on whether you’ve reached the finish line of a goal(s). Instead, look at where you are today compared to where you were when you started. Then revisit step 1 above.

Ask questions

"Failure happens all the time. It happens every day in practice. What makes you better is how you react to it," said soccer great, Mia Hamm. Simply put, you aren’t going to reach every summit you set your eyes on. There will be some goals that you don’t reach, or at least not in the way or time you originally expected to. Take time now to examine why this goal is seemingly elusive. What’s keeping you from checking it off as complete? Was it unrealistic? Is it simply a long-term target and now is time to recommit? Do you need to restructure your plan of attack or master new skills before you can successfully complete this one goal? If you’ve made some progress, what was it that propelled you forward, and can you do more of it? If you’re sailing into the end of the year, having met the goals you set for yourself 12 months prior, you’ve still got questions to ask. What was it that worked well in this process? What made you stumble? Even if you were successful, is there anything you might have done differently? Did you learn something new about yourself? Use the answers to these questions to help you better form your plans for your new goal sets.

Take time to celebrate

Whether you’re standing at year’s end with a full complement of reached goals or you’re still plugging along towards the finish line, it’s time to applaud yourself on a job well done. You’ve made progress and progress is something to celebrate! Need more support in evaluating your progress and setting new goals? I’m here to help. Contact my office for a chat: 917-992-2928. Or email