January offers a fresh slate for everyone to reflect on the past year and make goals for the year ahead. This could be related to academic achievements, professional advancement, or perhaps improvements in physical fitness. With New Year’s resolutions at the top of everyone’s mind, we consulted experts and business professionals on how best to turn these goals into a reality. See below for their tips to help you achieve your dreams in 2017.
Quantify Your Goals
Simply put, take an idea and turn it into an observable, countable, quantifiable action. Getting healthy, getting fit, saving money, improving relationships are not actions. They are concepts. You must be able to quantify it to go from idea to reality. Exercising on a treadmill from 6-6:30AM is a quantifiable behaviour. Contributing 5% of every paycheck via direct deposit into a savings account is quantifiable. The more specific and quantifiable, the more likely you are to be able to execute it. This approach is absolutely critical. If you can’t quantify it, you can’t track it. If you can’t track it, you are less likely to stick with it.
Set Specific and Achievable Goals
No matter what your 2017 resolution is, you should create goals that are specific, achievable and measurable. Let’s say your 2017 resolution is to grow your professional network. Try to get as specific as you can. For example, you may turn that resolution into a goal to meet one new professional each week for a 30-minute conversation. This goal is manageable and you can easily determine on a Sunday night if you have stayed on track. No matter what your goal, set weekly or monthly checkpoints to see if you’re hitting your resolution!
- Mandy Menaker, PR and Brand Development, Shapr
Stay Motivated with Low and High Goals
The reality of life is that it’s complex and we often don’t know what’s coming next. It’s been my experience that setting specific and ultra detailed goals can be counter-productive as any failure to meet them can cause demotivation and set us off track.
Instead, we should work to create a high and low range. The low range is there to keep us on track and to ensure that we make some progress towards our overriding and future goals. It’s there to keep up us in check and to remind us to work harder when we are failing to meet even our lower goals. Our higher goals on the other hand are there to force us to push ourselves once we have overcome our lower goals. I find that it’s best if you set your lower goals as goals which you think can easily be completed within 9 months even if you don’t perform 100%.
- Jack Prenter, Founder, Known Man
Set Shorter Timelines for Achievement
I’ve found that the most reliable way to achieve my goals is to shorten the timeline. Rather than setting annual goals, I focus on performing daily, weekly, and monthly goals. The longer you set a goal into the future, the more likely you’ll procrastinate and put it off, because it always seems like you have plenty of time. When you set specific short-term goals, it gives you a much greater sense of urgency to get them done.
- Lyn Alden, Founder, Lyn Alden Investment Strategy
Break Large Ideas Up into Smaller Goals
When setting goals for 2017, it’s important to break large ideas down into small, concrete, achievable goals. Also, it’s helpful to set monthly, or even weekly resolutions, so that you can actually get the motivating jolt of accomplishment after a shorter period of time. For example, rather than “getting healthier,” decide to head to the gym three times a week in January. If that goes well, try cutting out sweets for the first week of February. And so on. Another example: rather than “expanding my business,” decide to post something on social media three times a week in January. If that goes well, try spending an hour on networking every day the first week of February. And so on.
Human beings work best, and are their happiest, when they are moving forward toward a goal. However, when that goal is vague, too large, or too distant, we often fall away from the habit long before we get (or at least recognize) any of the benefits.
- Amanda Mulfinger, Clinical Psychologist, Cabot Psychological Services, PLLC
Prioritize Your Most Important Goals
There are many versions of ourselves that we’d like to be, and at a time when we’re motivated to make a change, like New Year’s, nothing seems out of reach. But once the first enthusiasm wears off, we get overwhelmed by the task at hand and we end up doing nothing. Instead, take a step back, reassess and prioritize. Make a list of all the goals you’d like to achieve, reorder them by how much they matter to you, then pick the one or two top ones and make them your focus for the next year. If you succeed at them and still have some motivation left, you can always keep going down the list later on.
- Anna Winterstein, Co-founder and CMO, Smarter Time
Re-evaluate Your Long-Term Goals on a Quarterly Basis
Businesses typically set goals annually in preparation for the start of their fiscal year. Many companies then review their goals in depth on a quarterly basis and make adjustments as needed. I also like to apply this annual/quarterly approach toward evaluating and updating personal goals. The time period is long enough to make meaningful progress toward your goals but short enough so that you can maintain your focus. By reviewing your personal goals at the start of every quarter, you can adjust to seasonal changes that impact your activities, behaviour, and lifestyle.
- Jill Ginsberg, Author, Speaker and Health Coach
Is moving into a new apartment or townhome on your list of goals for 2017? If so, be sure to browse CLV Group’s selection of 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom, and 3-bedroom apartments and 3-bedroom townhomes in Ontario, Gatineau and Montreal. We offer high-quality apartments and townhomes and dedicated customer service, and we are certain that you will love your new home.