Make 2012 Your Best Year Yet!

GOALS – Part 2

“The world makes way for the man or women who knows where they are going”

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Yes, we are less than a week away from 2012. Have you set any goals for next year yet? Do you even set goals? Well, here is some help to get your creative juices flowing.

Here are 10 Steps to make 2012 your best year yet!

Use the following questions to get crystal clear on your goals and the actions required to make them happen. The key is to keep it simple, actionable and exciting.

But I have to ask you a question… How bad to you want it? Are you willing to put in some hard work to get there? If so keep reading…


1.      Step ONE: Reflect – Review what made last year Awesome (and not so awesome)

This is the most important step. Any planning process–for the day, week, year or lifetime, begins with reflection. Take stock of what you’ve accomplished and what you’re proud of. Give yourself some time to bask in the glory. You deserve it. Also think through the low points of the year and what you don’t want to repeat. It’s crucial to nail the ups and the downs.

Use the below questions to guide you…

    1. What are you most proud of in the last year?
    2. If there were a newspaper headline describing this past year for you, what would it say?
    3. What unfinished business do you want to resolve before the year end and when will you do it? (i.e. lingering relationships, apologies, goals yet to achieve)
    4. When were you most excited about life in the past year? What were you doing? Who were you with?
    5. Looking back, what would you have done differently in 2011?
    6. What new dream for yourself did you achieve?
    7. Where did you let fear hold you back from a goal you had?
    8. What was boring to you this year that you hope to change for next year?


 2.      Step Two: Define Your Areas of Attention

List the core areas of your life where you want to get results. Examples include: Health, Continued Learning, Helping Others, Relationships, Business – don’t list any more than 8. Remember keep it simple. The point here is to nail the areas in your life that matter.


 3.      Step Three: Create a Core Goal in each area

Now it’s time to think BIG! These don’t have to be massive, but that certainly makes it more fun. They just have to be meaningful to you. Balance is the key…if you have only one goal and it’s to have your most profitable year in business, then you might find yourself working 12 hours a day, seven days a week to make that happen, while losing sight of your family that means so much to you or the body you love to keep fit. You may achieve your goal but you’ve left the rest of your life in shambles, so does it really matter?

List 1-3 goals per Area of Attention


4.      Step Four: Get Specific – Define what you Really Want

It’s not enough to say, “I want to be healthier” or “I want to make more money” They must be quantifiable and measureable. Define what you really want exactly. You want to write a book, then how many words a day can you commit to? You want to be healthier, what date will you sign up for a gym or take a class. You want to lose weight, then how much and when by. Be specific.

If you don’t know the rules of the game, then how could you ever expect to win?

List the quantifiable outcomes and the specifics of each goal.

Goal – to lose 20 pounds by July 1st 2012


5.      Step Five: Get Leverage – Find a Compelling and Emotional Reason Why

Leverage can come from one of two places. You can focus on the wonderful things you’ll experience if you complete your goal (i.e. happiness, personal freedom, finding the love of your life). Or you can focus on the awful things that might happen if you don’t (i.e. loneliness, a heart attack, or lose of position). Positive or negative, discover what will make it an absolute must to accomplish your goal.

What MASSIVE reason can you find for making your goal a MUST? Make sure there is major emotion behind it.

 List one WHY for each goal.


6.      Step Six: Fill in the details – Create baby steps

Thinking of a long-term goal as a single item to accomplish can be massively overwhelming. But every goal has all kinds of 5-minute or one-hour tasks leading up to it.

Take each core goal and divide it into 3-5 minor steps. Then create 3-5 baby steps for each minor step. You may need more or fewer steps depending on the size of your goal. Feel it out.

The point is to make the steps so small and manageable that you can check them off relatively quickly and feel the accomplishment and motivation of making progress.


7.      Step Seven – Get them on a Calendar

Everything we do takes up physical time in our lives. Without putting things on the calendar, it’s easy to plan way too much. Too much then leads to overwhelm which leads to the opposite of progress. Not good.

Get out a calendar where you can see all 12 months at once. Now look at the goals you’ve created. Begin to place each goal into various months. Be conscious of your life. If you know you’ll be traveling all of April then don’t expect huge results that month. If some of your goals will take the whole year to complete then fill in your Minor tasks in the months where you will take action.

Laying it out onto a calendar allows you to visually see what you plan to tackle each month.


8.      Step Eight: Get Accountable – Tell at least 4 people about them

We tend to keep our word much better with others than with ourselves. Pick at least four people close to you to tell your goals. Walk them through your process. Explain why it’s so deadly important to you and even give them a copy of your goals and plan. Ask for their help.

Warning: Pick people you know will genuinely support you – not those who will be jealous of your dreams and try to put you down.


 9.      Step Nine: Routinely Review your progress – Weekly and Monthly

For most people, goal setting ends just before this step.

But for those who want results, this is just the beginning. To see massive progress you must keep your goals in the front of your mind. Create a routine that allows you to review the above on a weekly basis. They become reality when we consistently address them and make small gradual progress.

Write down when you will review your goals on a routine basis. Put it on your weekly calendar.


10.  Step Ten: Do Something NOW – No Matter How Small

Never leave the site of a planning session without taking some action to get you closer to victory. It could be the tiniest thing in the world. Maybe send a short email or make a quick list. Pick something that only takes 5 minutes or less. And do it! Let the momentum begin.


What one or two small things can you do right now to get you closer? 


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