2012 – new year, new resolutions.  What is it going to be this year?  Find a new job?  Lose 10 lbs?  Run a 10K? Go on that vacation you have been putting off?  Whatever it may be, the following tips can help you increase your chances of being successful in your resolutions and goals for 2012

Stretch, Don’t Snap: “Walk 1 Mile” is an easy accomplishment for most individuals (I realize there are people in the world where this is worthy achievement) and thus is not a good goal for the vast majority of my reading audience.  Goals and resolutions should challenge you, something that will give you a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when you complete it.  Go ahead and set the bar high.

However, be careful not to set the bar so high that you are destined to fail.  For someone who has never hiked a mile in his/her life, setting a goal an Everest Summit in 2012 is unrealistic.  Be sure your goal/resolution is one that will challenge but not break you.

Holtz’s 107 Goals:  Former college football coach Lou Holtz tells a story about when he was let go from a job at the University of South Carolina and, at the encouragement of his wife, listed 107 goals he wanted to achieve in his life.  Try and refrain from crafting a list of 100 goals to accomplish in 2012 – while 107 goals are great for a Bucket List, my advice is to focus on goals for the near future, say the next twelve months.  With this in mind, I recommend crafting only a handful of goals you wish to accomplish in 2012.

Goal #108: When Coach Holtz tells the story of his 107 goals, he jokes that when he showed his wife the list of goals she was very impressed, and suggested that he should add one more goal to his list, “Get a job.”  Be sure your list of goals/resolutions are pertinent to your current situation as it will be easier to stay motivated when trying to accomplish something that is a ‘need’.  If you find yourself with a goal list that is too extensive, prioritize.

Step #1: “The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step.”  Lao-tzu, a Chinese philosopher, spoke volumes with those few words.  Break your goals down into smaller, more manageable milestones and lay out a gameplan on how you will achieve these smaller goals.  For example, running a marathon is a goal of many – but one needs to begin with smaller milestones (5K, 10K races) in order to build up to running the 26.2 mile effort.  Additionally, losing weight is a common goal/resolution for many individuals, but in order to be successful, one should map out how this goal will be accomplished (exercising a certain number of times per week, eating healthier, etc.).

Setting smaller goals and an action plan on how to reach these smaller and larger goals will increase your chance for success.

Go Tell It on the Mountain: I love to sing this hymn at church – sharing good news should be celebrated!  The same holds true with your goals, tell your friends and family about your plans (providing your goal is not something too personal).  By sharing your goals with others, you will find yourself more accountable and may even find you receive added support from your friends and family.

So, go ahead and set those goals for 2012, just be sure to take into account these tips to increase the likelihood that you will be smiling on Dec. 31st when you look back on what you have accomplished in the previous 12 months.


About Kevin Monahan

I have 10+ years experience in coaching clients in their career management and career change efforts. Personal career consulting services combined with employer outreach to help find opportunities for both constituents.
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