5 New Year's Resolution Goal-Setting Tips

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It is that time again, the time of year where we make an overly ambitious list of things we would like to accomplish in the new year. By February most of these things have dropped off the map completely, and by March we can’t even remember what our goals were. Not in 2011! Here are my top 5 tips for successful new year goal setting that will have you patting yourself on the back this time next year!

1. Brainstorm

Don’t put too much thought into this phase, just literally write down anything and everything you think you would want to accomplish in the upcoming year.

2. Remove anything that isn’t measurable

One of my favorite quotes is “things that get measured get done” and that couldn’t be more true. Saying “I want to lose weight” or “I want to quit smoking” is not a specific, measurable goal. Don’t believe me? Check out motivational speaker Jack Daly’s goals for 2010; he goes as far as breaking down how many books and magazines he is going to read a month. While this may seem over the top, keep in mind that at any given moment, he could give you an update on where he stands with his goals because they are all measurable.

Go through the list you created and remove anything that is not measurable. For things that are such as “cut back on smoking” or “lose weight,” be sure to identify specifics such as how much weight you are going to lose. If you are a total nerd like me, you can even use this step to add some sub-bullets about how you are going to accomplish these goals.

3. Prioritize

Once you have your list of specific, measurable goals, now it is time to put them in order based on what is most important to you. This is important because, as we all know, we are very ambitious at the end of a year and tend to commit ourselves to more than what we can actually accomplish. Prioritize your goals and be sure that the ones you are not willing to sacrifice are at the top of your list.

4. Document

I know this seems like an obvious one, but most people don’t actually document what their goals are. Whether it be on a Post-It, on your computer, in your smart phone, or however else you would keep track of it, be sure you have noted somewhere that you can access on a regular basis. Personally, I like to type mine in Word and print multiple copies so I have access to it anywhere that I am.

5. Tell people

Tell people. If you have a blog, post it on there somewhere. Going public with your goals will help keep you accountable. Want to ensure you stay focused on your top-priority items? Set calendar reminders to make sure you are where you should be with them or ask a friend/family member to follow up with you. (Photo source)

I will be putting my goal list together next week, and will of course be sharing with you all. What are your best goal-setting tips?