Merry Christmas! We are entering the time of year where a lot of people start thinking about what they want from the year ahead. Some people create new years resolutions and concentrate on one goal at a time and others create comprehensive goal sheets with subgoals and deadlines (mine is coming out next week.) However you do it, you should be setting yourself up for success, which means making goals that are actionable and can be accomplished.
You want to take any nebulous goals and make them more concrete and focused. I’ll use one of my goals for the new year: be a better friend. Of course, this doesn’t tell me anything about what I really want out of this goal or what the end result might look like! After some thought, I realized that I wanted to be a more intentional friend and maintain my friendships on a more consistent basis. This is narrowing down on one aspect of being a friend.
Under Your Control
For every goal you have, make sure that any action that needs to be taken is something you have under your control. In order to be a more intentional friend, I can’t set the goal that I will spend time with a specific friend once a week, I don’t know their schedule. Instead, I can have my goal be to reach out to that friend at least once a week. This means that even a short text conversation fulfills this goal, but also leaves it open to more substantial contact.
This is the biggest part of making a goal actionable, how can you measure that you have completed your goal? For me, it means defining what reaching out means, choosing the specific friends I want to include in this goal, and understanding that there may be times that I fail. An ongoing goal (reaching out once a week) is hard to maintain. l also include the caveat with my goal that there may be weeks that I miss this small goal, but as long as I reach out at least 40 weeks out of the year, I can still say I reached my goal.
Reaching your goals is the best feeling and making sure your goals are actionable is the first step to setting yourself up for success. What are your goals for the new year? Do you think these goals are actionable?