There’s a sense of newness in the air. It’s 2015 and the old calendars have been swept away, the new ones lie ready for exciting plans to be noted, and all is ready for a fresh start and a collection of new achievements.
But will this all happen naturally, or should we be making a list of goals?
What will 2015 offer us if we sit back, go with the flow, and leave it to its own devices? Or should we take control, make lists of our personal and business targets, and set out on a planned strategy and course?
It’s generally accepted wisdom that knowing what you are aiming for will help you get there. But what does this really mean?
One of the authors of Making Sense of Change Management researched what makes a sales person outstanding (Green, 2001). His findings suggest that goal setting makes a huge contribution to personal motivation and focus. Really successful sales people had clear and challenging targets that they had set themselves. That they set the targets themselves is important – if you think about it, by setting our own targets, we’ve already decided that they have value. As we work towards the target, our expectations, and therefore our experience, is positive and helpful.
Related to this is the concept of ‘well-formed outcomes’ that is a part of the Change Management Certification: if you really understand and can visualise what ‘success’ looks and feels like, you are more likely to be able to achieve it. If you are at least involved in the goal-setting, you’re more likely to have this understanding.
The existence of the goal is not what matters. The important bit is what it involves, and the ‘why’. Anyone with a goal will have to overcome hurdles and jump through hoops to achieve it. To have the motivation to begin, and the momentum to continue and overcome resistance, you have to believe in its benefits.
Positive thinking is good, and so is having a focus on specific goals. But now is the time for thinking through what our 2015 will look like, what is the real outcome we’d like to see, what are the obstacles we may need to overcome, and how may we achieve that.
Here’s a checklist to help you get the best from 2015:
- What are your goals?
- Are you able to visualise what success would mean for each goal?
- What is the real benefit you’d achieve from each goal?
- List the likely obstacles that will make it hard to achieve your goals
- How can you overcome each obstacle?
Good luck in achieving your vision.