How to Set Goals for the New Year

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Scenario: "Dude, just set one big-freakin' goal. Then strive for it. Strive because you believe in yourself. Strive. You-can-do-it. Yay!" It all sounds fine-and-dandy: Set a big goal, then strive for it like the mutha $@!$% that you know you are. But, there's a reason most people don't achieve their New Year goals: It's too freakin' big to achieve in one sitting. That gets you procrastinating, with your subconscious telling yourself:

  • "Hey, I can't achieve my big goal now. Maybe I'll start seeking it in the near future when I feel ready. Right now, I'm not ready. Yay!"

That statement becomes a viciously cruel cycle that gets you doing: Nothing.

Short-Term Goals vs. Long-Term Goals

Pop-quiz for ya: Which goal would people more likely achieve:

  • a) "Bake a cake tomorrow."
  • b) "Grow revenues 100% by 2008."

If you answered (a): Ding! Ding! Mutha Ding! Ring! Your badass is correct-a-mundo. Why?

Deadlines Control How Fast You Work

Subconsciously, you determine the amount work you do by the amount of time you think you have for that work. For a one-day goal, you tell yourself: "Dude, I only have 1 day to do this sucka. I better do it by today!" But, for a 365-day goal: "Dude, I have all year to achieve it. I don't have to really do anything tomorrow, because hey -- it's only one day. I have 99.73% of the year remaining. No worries."

What typically happens with a long-term goal with no short-term-goals?

You wait, wait, and oh-mutha-$@!% wait to start. Another day passes, and another, and another -- until you discover you have to get your butt in gear. At that point, two scenarios happen:

  1. You try to accomplish the big juicy goal, but still fall miserably short of it; or
  2. You determine you have absolutely no time to accomplish the goal because of time-constraints, so you drop it completely.

Ouch. There's a better way to achieve that big juicy goal, and we'll let you in on the secret.

How to Set Your Goals

Since humans thrive according to deadlines, here's the process we'd recommend for your badass: First, define your one-sexy-big-juicy goal. Now, divide your that into as many mini-ones as you can. The more mini-ones you set, the more likely you'll achieve them. We'll demonstrate:

  1. Eddie wants to increase revenues by $1,000,000 before 2008.
  2. He tells his bad-self: "I know I'll need to set mini ones that lead up to that $1 million goal. That will give me a higher chance of achieving that goal by the end of the year." So, he sets them.
  3. He has a goal of $50,000 by January, $125,000 by February, $225,000 by March, and so on -- with each month leading up to that $1 million goal.
  4. "But!" he exclaims. "I'll need to set smaller ones because 30 days is still a lot!"
  5. So, he sets weekly goals that lead up to each of his monthly goals.
  6. "But, hey!" he screams. "I can set daily ones too!"
  7. He does.
  8. He soars.

Remember: Set Measurable Goals

Remember back when you were yay-high, and your teacher told you: "Be good." -- they still yelled at you for: _________? Yeah, blame that one on your teacher. We encourage you to go back there, and explain yo-self: "Mrs. Williams, if you just told me to keep quiet during reading time before you yelled at me, I would've done it!" Humans want specificity. Vague goals keep people short of their fabulous potential.

Common Mistake for Business Goals

Consider these two business goals:

  1. Grow revenues.
  2. Grow revenues by 100%.

One gets you complacent; the other drives you to chase down that goal, and beat it like a mutha ^@!$%! badass you know you are. You could grow revenues by $1, and you'll still achieve the first goal. Yay. That won't get you moving, however. You have no destination point to viciously drive you to achieve the big goals you want. A more specific goal however gives you a vision of Everest's summit: a clear destination point that motivates you to get there, increasing your productivity to rock.

"But, dudes: do I have to have only one-juicy goal?"

Nope. You could have several, and we'd encourage it. Our point: the more mini-goals you set for each of your juicy-big-goals for the year, the likelier you'll achieve it. For instance: if you have five big-sexy goals, set separate mini-goals for each of those five. To rock, remember:

Set several specific mini-goals that construct a big-sexy-juicy goal. Then, watch your badass rock.


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Posted on January 02

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