It’s a new year and that means you should be feeling energized and excited to see what 2016 will bring your way. But don’t think that luck will just drop opportunities in your lap. You need to get out there and earn your rewards. That means setting challenging goals for yourself to ensure that you are constantly striving for better, and pushing yourself to grow and achieve more. Here are a number of tips that you can use to help set and achieve challenging goals that will make the year 2016 your best year yet!
Set Goals that Motivate and Inspire You
When it comes to evaluating your career path, it’s important to be honest about where you are and where you want to be. Setting smaller, achievable goals is a good tactic to get you through your workday or month, but you also need something big to aim for so that you are inspired in the long term. Set challenging goals that make you want to get out of bed in the morning, do your best work, and celebrate when you achieve your smaller goals. Focus on achievements that are important to you and that you will value in the long run, rather than just reasonable achievements that help you get your work done. Don’t focus on goals that are completely unreasonable or which have no clear path to achievement. But don’t sell yourself short by setting a goal that you have no vested interest in the outcome either. Make it a priority and go to work every day with that goal at the top of your mind.
SMART goals are goals which are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time Bound. This is particularly true for challenging goals, because this method helps you make sure you are committed and held accountable to your goals. Be specific about what you want to achieve with a particular goal. Make sure that you are able to measure your success or failures in what you do throughout the year. Keep in mind that attainability is critical, especially for challenging goals, because if you give up on a big goal because it’s unrealistic, then you are less likely to be motivated toward other challenging goals. Make sure that your goal is relevant to your life and your work. And give yourself and your goal a schedule and stick to it.
Write it Down
Writing down your goals helps to solidify them in your mind and in your life. It gives them a certain tangible and real place in your life. If you have a spot in your home or workspace where you turn to for inspiration, then that is a great place to keep a hard copy of your goals. This helps keep your challenging aspirations at the front of your mind.
Make a Plan
Goals are little more than daydreams if you don’t have a plan to achieve them. Goal setting is a dynamic and constantly changing activity. You need to be able to think through the steps you need to take to achieve your goal and constantly evaluate your progress. Set up regular reminders and check-ins for yourself to make sure you are on the right track.