Make them “s-m-a-r-t.”
- Specific—your goals just identify exactly what you want to accomplish in as much specificity as you can muster.
- Measurable—as the old adage says, “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.”
- Actionable—every goal should start with a verb (e.g., “quit,” “run,” “finish,” “eliminate,” etc.)
- Realistic—you have to be careful here. A good goal should stretch you, but you have to add a dose of common sense.
- Time-bound—every goal needs a date associated with it. When do you plan to deliver on that goal. It could be by year-end (December 31) or it could be more near-term (March 31).
Write them down. This is critical. There is a huge power in writing your goals on paper even if you never develop an action plan or do anything else. Henriette Anne Klauser documents this in her fascinating book, Write It Down and Make It Happen .
Go public. Going public creates accountability and leverage. Several years ago, I blogged about my goal to run a half marathon. Once I did that, there was no turning back. People would ask, “So how’s your training going?” I wanted to have a good answer, so I would haul myself out of bed and go run.
This blog post was adapted from Michael Hyatt’s post on resolutions found here: http://feeds2.feedburner.com/michaelhyatt