By Michelle May, M.D.
Whether you are setting health goals, personal goals, or professional goals, the key to successful New Year's Resolutions is to create a strategic plan. The following steps will guide you through the goal setting and achievement process.
The Goal Setting Process
- Assess Your Starting Point: Take an accurate and detailed assessment of where you are presently relative to the goal you would like to achieve.
- Consider Your Values: Goals based on your core principles and values will form a passionate attitude!
- Dream: Go for areas that inspire and challenge you. Project yourself into the future and write down your ideal scenario.
- Define and Clarify: Narrow down your goals to those that inspire you the most. Make them so clear that you can see them, feel them and measure them.
- Write it Down: Write your goals in positive terms using detailed words and/or pictures. Put them in a place where you will see them often.
- Develop a Plan: Set long and short goals, including a timeline with deadlines. Be flexible and open to new opportunities and paths to your goals but be careful of detours.
- Identify Obstacles and Possible Solutions: Expect setbacks and learn to recover from them.
- Create a Support Network: Consider identifying an accountability partner to encourage continued progress.
- Make it Happen: Periodically assess your progress, adjusting your approach and/or modifying goals as necessary.
- Reward Yourself: Small and large incentives will keep you motivated to reach your short and long term goals. Keep in mind that the greatest reward is in knowing that you have done your best!
Best wishes for a healthy and successful 2012!