Happy New Year!
I hope you all had a great holiday break. By now, everyone is hard at work and well into month 1 of the year 2020!! And this is the time of year when people are either setting goals, fine tuning and tweaking them or… none of the above.

I have already spent some time this year working with teams and individuals on doing this very thing, setting goals. Goals to help us focus on the right stuff, plan, develop and increase our likelihood of success. Without good goal setting, you are kind of traveling without a map or finite destination. That may be great, pending your style, for vacations and off-work play time. But for personal development, career achievement and personal success the old adage “Failure to plan means you plan to fail” rings true. Or at the very best, we have some success and fulfillment but nowhere near what we are capable of doing.

Goal setting can be a powerful process for thinking and planning your future as you would like to see it. And speaking as a convert to this a little later in life, it really does work! Try it, play with it, tweak it but most of all – start doing it as soon as possible.


What’s the Point?

It’s been proven time and again by successful athletes, business-people and top achievers in all walks of life that setting goals is key. If you don’t have a specific set of goals to zero in on how will you ever “hit your target”? or more importantly, how will you even know if you have done so!

By setting sharp, clearly defined goals, you can measure and take pride in the achievement of those goals, and you’ll see forward progress in what might previously have seemed a long pointless grind. You will also raise your self-confidence, as you recognize your own ability and competence in achieving the goals that you’ve set.

Setting Higher-Level Goals
First create a larger, overall objective to get to. This may only be 3 years, 5 years, 10 years out but that all depends on the clarity and importance of that goal for you.
Next, you must break these down into the smaller and smaller targets or steps in the ladder as I like to say. What are the things you need to do to ultimately reach your finish line? What’s your road map of success?
Finally, once you have your plan laid out, get to work! Daily, weekly, monthly tracking of the work you have done and steps accomplished will make you feel better about success towards your goal(s).
A brief word of caution. Don’t overdo! TOO many goals will stop you from truly achieving what you want. Once your initial list of goals is complete, take a second look and cut the herd as they say out West. Narrow it down to a smaller number of goals that seem most significant for you. This will help you focus much more effectively.

Smaller Goals are Better Goals

Once you have set those higher-level goals it’s time to then set smaller goals. These are the building blocks and path you need to reach those higher-level goals.

As touched on previously a one-year plan, six-month plan, and a one-month plan of progressively smaller goals that you should reach to achieve your overall goals is king!. You might also want to create a daily “To Do” list of things that you should do today to work towards your bigger goals.

At first, this might seem like overkill, too much “stuff”, etc. It does! And can we always stick to this every day? NO. Stuff happens. Life Happens. But, with a visual, detailed, personal plan we know where to go to get back on the right road.

Staying on Track

Periodically review the longer-term plans and modify them to reflect your changing priorities and experiences. There are many ways to do this either manually or via some computer tools out there but do NOT just keep it in your head!


A useful way of making goals more powerful is clearly to use the SMART goals approach. To me, in addition to making this “visual”, SMART is the key. But it takes work, practice and review to make sure you are truly doing them right.
S – Specific (or Significant).
M – Measurable (or Meaningful).
A – Attainable (or Action-Oriented).
R – Relevant (or Rewarding).
T – Time-bound (or Trackable).
Here’s a perfect example. I want to drop my golf handicap from a 7 to a 3, by December 31, 2020. Obviously, this will only be attainable if a lot of preparation and planning has been done beforehand!

There is SO much more in this critical area of goal setting but this is enough for now! One final thought for you is to CELEBRATE YOUR SUCCESSES

When you’ve reached a goal, take the time to enjoy the accomplishment.

If the goal was a significant one, reward yourself appropriately. All of this helps you build the self-confidence and momentum to continue your quest to achieve what you deserve.

Dave G