As we enter the second quarter of 2019, have you already broken your resolutions for the year?
If so, relax. It doesn’t mean you’re a failure. It means you’re among the 80 percent of people who find it easier to set goals than follow through with them.
But here’s good news. A few simple techniques – like putting your goals in a letter that you send to someone – can make all the difference, according to top business executives.
“Breaking down my goals into actionable steps can make them easier to stick to,” says Amanda Zuckerman, co-founder of Dormify, in this CNBC article. “Also, establishing how I’m going to reward myself up front, so that I have something to work towards, like a new pair of shoes, a restaurant I’ve wanted to try, or a spa day.”
Other high-achievers say accountability groups and progress maps help them stay on task.
- Write goals down and map them out.
“I write them down. I find that if I put pen to paper, I’m more likely to follow through. It’s also a good point of reference when I look back during our mid-year review to see where we’re tracking. We’re growing at such an incredible rate it’s important that I map out what we’re looking to accomplish over the next year. I break down the goals by month, quarter, etc. to mark deadlines for when and how we’re going to attain each.” Jaclyn Johnson, founder of Create & Cultivate, an online platform for millennial women, and author of Work Party: How to Create & Cultivate the Career of Your Dreams.
- These two books may be helpful.
“How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton Christensen and Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs by John Doerr are good for looking at the value of goal-setting and how to set and achieve [things]. I set goals against three categories: my personal life, my relationships, and my work.” Michael Katchen, CEO of the investing platform Wealthsimple.
- Consider joining a group of peers to keep you on track.
“Once a year I set long-term goals. For example, ‘get a new job.’ Then I list short-term goals and strategies per quarter to help me achieve that long-term goal. For instance, ‘update my resume’ and ‘update my LinkedIn page.’ I also share some of my quarterly goals with peers who can hold me accountable or challenge my strategy. I’ve recently joined The Cru, an intentionally curated female group, where we practice listing our intentions for the year and the steps we plan to follow to achieve them. We include targeted dates to help keep each other accountable.” Ezinne Kwubiri, Head of Diversity & Inclusion, H&M North America.
- Set only one or two goals.
“I strongly believe in setting one or two goals, because accomplishing something beats accomplishing nothing. I also think setting personal goals alongside goals for the business is important. Work can be consuming, but it’s easier to find that balance if I’m also putting goals to things I’m passionate about outside the office. Patience is key, and it takes time to see results in anything you do.” Amanda Zuckerman, co-founder of Dormify.
What tips would you recommend for staying on target with your personal and professional goals?