Simplified Goal Setting for 2017

Ready or not, it’s upon us: Year end 2016! For business leaders, it can be challenging to manage all of the extra holiday downtime and still finish the year strong along with a solid plan to get Q1 off to a strong start. Yet, savvy leaders are proactive in creating momentum for the New Year long before the end of Q4.
Haven’t had a chance yet to create your 2017 goals? Not to worry! Although there is no shortage of options when it comes to ways to set goals effectively, I love Sean Kelly’s recommendations as posted on recently. He suggests a simple and effective formula that I used recently called the 5-4-3-2-1.
Sean suggests coming up with goals in the following format:
  • Five things you need to do
  • Four things to STOP doing
  • Three new habits
  • Two people to hold you accountable
  • One new belief
I also like Sean’s advice of setting the goals early in Q4, to allow time for them to set in and even practice new behaviors without the added pressure of doing everything perfectly on January 1. And, if you need some context and perspective on precisely what you’d like to do better at in 2017, I’ve got you covered.
As a leader and a business owner myself, I know first-hand that goals and objectives can get stale from time to time. It certainly is a balancing act between managing (and celebrating progress and success) along with staying focused on key priorities and strategic goals. How do you know how you’re doing? Sometimes as leaders we have to ask OURSELVES the tough questions, like “Am I spending time on the right things?” “Am I busy or am I being productive?” “What changes do I need to make in order to support my strategic goals and continue getting better as a leader?”
With these questions as a backdrop it changes our perspective on our opportunity areas and it provides a nice backdrop to completing the 5-4-3-2-1 method above, as opposed to answering those questions working from a blank piece of paper.
What do you want to get better at in 2017? Perhaps beyond your business, it’s investing in relationships. What do you need to change or modify in your schedule to make that happen? Or maybe it’s investing in your health or your personal growth. Are you willing to carve out an hour each day to become healthier or to learn more as a leader?
These are powerful questions to reflect on regularly, but especially now as we come to a close on another year. Forget about New Year’s resolutions and the temptation to hit it hard on January 1 and run out of gas by February. Instead, focus on this: Recognizing that we need to make a change does NOT make things happen. We must be very intentional, proactive and strategic about that which we want to bring about in our lives. With intention we become focused, committed and on the path towards seizing our desired results now and into the future.
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