Has this year gone as planned? Has it veered off course or have you not made the progress you anticipated in your personal and professional life? This is a common problem when setting goals that many leaders encounter. Keep reading for 5 tips that will help you accomplish your goals. Don’t miss out on how to help your goals get traction, endure, and produce the results you desire.
Did you watch Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this year? Like many, my family has enjoyed the sights and sounds of this parade each and every Thanksgiving morning. This parade for many is the catalyst of the Holiday season. My wife and I one year were fortunate enough not just to tune into NBC to watch the parade but to see it live in New York City.
My wife checked another item off her “bucket list” when we traveled to New York City to see Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Seeing the parade live and in person has been a dream of hers for about 30 years. The weather was perfect that day and we enjoyed a once-in-a-lifetime parade experience.
We had several “must-see” landmarks and events on our agenda. And it took some forethought and planning in order for us to get the most out of our trip to “the Big Apple”.
Planning for the new year is a bit like planning for a big trip. To get the maximum experience out of your trip (or your year), you need to do some advance planning. Planning is not just a logistical exercise but has realities in our spiritual life as well as we see in Proverbs 21:5,
“The plans for the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.”
Your goals and plans set the stage for the success of your year.
The process of setting goals is a proven way to plan your “trip” through the new year. And I have some tips that will help you accomplish more than you ever thought possible!
In the previous two blog posts, I suggested you…
- Pause and reflect by asking, “Where have I been? and “Where am I now?”
- Then start dreaming and thinking by asking yourself “Where am I going?”
Effective goal setting requires that we know where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re going. Without this process, you may find yourself off course – or worse, going nowhere.
Every person can get more done in the new year by applying the following five practical tips to accomplish their goals.
5 Tips to Accomplish your Goals
1. Stagger Start vs. All at Once
Our tendency is to start ALL of our plans and goals on January 1st. But when we start all of our plans and goals simultaneously, we quickly become overwhelmed. Then we’re likely to quit pursuing ALL of our plans and goals.
Change your thinking and stagger the start dates for your goals over the course of the year. This allows you to focus on one or two important goals at a time.
Try a new goal each month or each quarter. Each season will then have a focus and you will have time to develop one habit at a time that will endure in your life. Turning goals into habits are critical to getting the traction that will convert to the results you want in your business, your church, or your educational institution.
Phillipa Lally, a health psychology researcher at University College London published a study in the Journal of Social Psychology that, “on average, it takes more than 2 months before a new behavior becomes automatic—66 days to be exact” It can take anywhere from, “18 days to 254 days for people to form a new habit.”
Learning to love the long, slow walk to change and greatness is a part of the journey when making transformative goals. Staggering your goals through the year makes your goals more accessible but also guarantees that each goal will give you the time to develop the habits that ensure its endurance.
2. “Vital Few” vs. the “Trivial Many”
Having control over what you do is called managing your priorities. Your ability to choose between the important and the unimportant (or urgent) is the key determinant of your success in life and work.
Matthew 6:33 states
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Our foundation must first be God, when we anchor our reality in His Truth we can more fully discern between other priorities.
There are many things in life that will feel vital and they will all vie for our attention, these assumed critical issues ultimately distract us from the vital few things that will lead to our success. It is a conscious decision to let your life priorities set your daily priorities. Know who you are and where you are going and let that guide you to what is truly important as you set your goals.
Effective, productive people discipline themselves to focus on the most critical task that is before them. As a result, they accomplish vastly more than the average person and are much happier.
3. Stop to Start
Once you determine what you want to accomplish for the year, it’s important to count the cost of your goals.
“All big things come from small beginnings. The seed of every habit is a single, tiny decision.” James Clear Click To Tweet
Often, we’ll need to stop doing certain things so we can start new routines that will get us where we want to go.
Consider making a “Stop Doing” list that contains the activities and behaviors that you need to remove from your life to make time for your newly identified goals.
4. Progress vs. Perfection
We are looking for progress, NOT perfection as we think through our plans and goals for the new year.
James Clear in Atomic Habits says,
“It doesn’t matter how successful or unsuccessful you are right now. What matters is whether your habits are putting you on a path toward success. You should be far more concerned with your current trajectory than with your current… Click To Tweet
Your goals must be challenging but realistic. Reaching for perfectionism will only frustrate you, your friends, your family, and your co-workers. You’ll give up before you reach perfection.
5. Adjust vs. Fixed
As you implement and execute your new year plans and goals, expect to adjust them as the year goes by.
When you move forward, you will learn something new that you had not considered before that would lead you to an even better path. Be willing to adjust your plans and goals accordingly.
If we believe that goals are fixed we are more likely to give up or discontinue them when things do not go as anticipated. If we see our goals as fluid and adjustable then our ability to commit is greater even on our less-than-perfect days. We can adjust our expectations by acknowledging progress, not perfectionism.
Following these five practical tips will help you plan and accomplish your goals and get more done in the new year!
- Have you ever tried to stagger the start date of your goals?
- Has perfectionism ever stopped you from reaching your goals?
- How would being more flexible and being willing to adjust expectations change the likelihood of us giving up on our goals?
Related, Articles, Videos, and Podcast Episode
- Women Leaders Go Far By Going Together with Jo Saxton
- God Uses Rustic Beginnings with Jill Donovan
- Your First Step to an Extraordinary New Year
- A Mindset to Accomplish Your Dreams
Free Live Group Coaching with Q&A for the Whole Community!
To help equip our community of leaders with a better mindset to accomplish their goals and dreams in NEW YEAR.
Coming this January 24, 2023, Bobby Albert, CEO of Values-Driven Culture, will host a FREE and LIVE group coaching experience discussing
“Why Leaders Need To Anchor In Christ During Turbulent Times”
Do you feel stuck, on the edge of burnout, worried about what the future holds in this turbulent season? Join us as we look at how our goals reveal the spiritual condition of our hearts. Pausing, reflecting, and evaluating will impact our daily habits, reveal who we trust, and stimulate growth.
Join us on Zoom to:
- Hear why Christian leaders shouldn’t make choices out of survival mode or a scarcity mindset.
- Receive a FREE personal goal-setting resource that transformed Bobby’s relationships where he lives, works, and plays – and can do the same for you.
- Enter 2023 with steadfast peace and clarity only Christ offers