It's Time To Set Some Goals!

by Teena Rose

It's Time to SET SOME GOALS! Written by Teena Rose, author of How to Start a Résumé Business, available as a downloadable book that teaches individuals how to start and run a home- or office-based résumé service.

December serves different purposes to different people. Some may look at it as a time to take a much-needed break where others might fall into the mystique of the holidays and put business agendas on a back burner.

I look at the month as a prime time to set realistic goals for the upcoming year — with limited interruption, of course. I, like most people, sit back with my feet on the desk, take a deep breath in relief that the year is over, and reminisce about the year's happenings. More importantly, however, I look at December as a time to game plan and think about how I intend to start January with a refreshed outlook and with a renewed sense of purpose.

With all great intentions, you should spend time thinking about and discussing your ideas for the future. Once you speak intentions, you somehow announce to the world your plans; therefore, you're committed to fulfilling them. The next step, however, is to write them down. If you plan to write separate goals for your personal life and your business (or pertaining to your career), ensure you don't overload your intentions. Keep in mind the time dedication needed for each of your line items, and don't be afraid to postpone those that can't feasibly be completed over the 12-month period.

Forecasting, setting goals, or researching steps needed to achieve short- and long-term goals can rejuvenate you and make you forget problems from months past. Mentally perceiving that the moon and the stars can be reached will allow you to move obstacles and place yourself on a positive path heading straight for the obtainable goals.

First, create a master plan. Your plan should encompass realistic goals along with the steps needed to achieving each of them. Covering your ground will ensure that you reach your due rewards so you can look back again and take pride in your accomplishments.

Setting obtainable short and long-term goals can keep pessimism at bay and allow for progression and growth. View small goals as local games; larger goals as a championship. Winning smaller games are wonderful feats that will eventually lead to larger games designed to recognize you as a champion.

For example, pursuing a magazine to publish an article can lead to authoring a book that may lead to book signings and writing more books. The road to success started with a single article.

Maybe one of your goals is to be home when your child arrives from school. It starts when you open the door with a smiling face and say, "How was your day?" Weeks pass and you find that your child runs from the bus to see your smiling face. Years pass and you find yourself at a family gathering and you overhear your child telling others about your attentive nature. The road to better parenting started with the decision to be home before the bus drop-off.

Second, don't listen to your inner demon. It's been noted that individuals possess an internal "destroyer," designed to sabotage success. Think of the inner conscious as something that constantly says negative statements to cause second-guessing and breeding doubt. This little voice can provoke a person to look at perfectly viable goals and see nothing but unobtainable or unrealistic items.

Third, take a long look at those around you. Do you associate with positive people? I challenge you to read several biographies of the famous and the wealthy. You'll notice one common denominator: successful people prosper, dine, party, and vacation with other positive and successful people. By connecting with others of the same mindset, a person's expectations can be obtained with the help of others.

Lastly, change your whole mindset about yourself and those around you. Unfortunately, pessimism is a bad "disease" spreading through the world and killing the best of intentions. If you encourage those around you and see their potential, you will get the same in return. Optimism is the only attitude a person should possess to ensure expectations are met. Unlike pessimism, optimism will help a person achieve and obtain all goals regardless of difficulty level.

Have fun with your goals. If you decide that you need to spend more time with your teenager, create a cookie jar full of activities and fun trips derived from every member of your family. You might decide to pull one of the ideas from the jar each Saturday — and do it no matter how "unlike you" it is!

Another way to make goal setting an easy process is by soliciting the help of your spouse or office mate. Having another brain can surface all sorts of topics that you never dreamed of and leave you scrambling on how you'll obtain them all because they're so INNOVATIVE and GREAT.

Steps for setting goals: Devise your goals and place them in a short-term (several weeks up to 4 months or so) and long-term (5-12 months) column; preferably within a Word document because you'll play around with them many times before they reach final form. Once your list is complete, rearrange them in order of importance. Place the most important first and go down the line until you reach the least important goal. Delete those you feel aren't practical. Next, write an outline of how you intend to obtain each of them. Identify obstacles, map out baby steps, and add miscellaneous items to your checklist such as e-mail addresses and phone numbers that you'll need throughout the year to assist with the completion process. Lastly, put the list in a location where you'll see it often. If it's out of sight, you'll lose track of it and forget the list ever existed.

Make a conscious effort to complete each item within the allotted time. The whole point of writing down your goals is so that you'll make every effort to achieve them. Have a prosperous, relaxing, and productive New Year!

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