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A New Year's Goal: Focus on Personal Goals

“You need a plan to build a house. To build a life, it is even more important to have a plan or goal” – Zig Ziglar. To build a life ... That part of the Zig Ziglar quote is striking because what is your life?  It is likely work, family, hobbies, kids, pets, and the list goes on.  Perhaps it is easier to narrow it down to work and life, which represents everything else.

So, as you sit in your practice thinking about what you would like to accomplish in the next year, three years and beyond, you probably tend to think about career-oriented goals – ones that will surely benefit a growing practice.

Perhaps you look back and realize that some of your goals haven’t been successful? Many life coaches bet it is something on the personal side of the scale that is skewing your ability to achieve a life goal. 

This is likely because personal goals are fundamentally tougher to identify and execute.  They take time, discipline and desire.  They are also easier to set aside when the rest of life comes crashing in and we focus on what we have to do to day-to-day and not down the road.

So, how do we go about setting personal goals?

  • Identify what you want to accomplish and why.  It can be as simple as I want to get up at 5 a.m. to read the newspaper, or I want to take a one-week vacation with the family.  The first example would be personal development – reading the news keeps you connected with what is going on in the world.  Perhaps you would prefer to watch the news or read a book, it doesn’t matter – the idea is to focus on creating time for something you want to do and getting it done.  In the second example, setting aside time for family and yourself builds in important time together, as well as time away from work to reset and renew. 
  • Identify the why.  Goals only work if they mean something. Why do you want to lose weight, exercise, go back to school, etc.  Make the goal matter.
  • Make sure the goals have a beginning and end.  With the examples of getting up at specific time and taking a trip, there is a set action and time frame.  You can measure whether you are meeting expectations easily.
  • Prepare a calendar and incorporate meetings, vacations, regular appointments that might distract from your goals.  This is simply identifying the time obstacles and prepare a plan to work around them.
  • Build a support team.  This may be your spouse, partner or a good friend, but tell them what you’re working on and why. They will help hold you accountable – encouraging when they need to be.

And, finally, the most important key to success is to work hard.  Good goals aren’t easy.  They require commitment and focus, and have that in spades.  You didn’t get to where you are today without these traits.

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