Goal Setting in Life and Business

What do you see when you look at your life goals and business goals? These don’t have to be money goals. Perhaps you’d like another house (and maybe this one is on the lake), a certain amount of vacation time, more freedom to spend extra time with your kids, or you want to generate more passive income. Whatever your goals are, it is important to identify them and know how you can check the progress on these hopeful successes.

Also, just because yesterday wasn’t New Year’s Eve doesn’t mean that you can’t start a new goal today. Creating new goals throughout the year can even boost your motivation and help you power through previously created and connected goals. Here are some tips for the rest of your “New Year”.

Attach an emotion to your goals. Identify how you want to feel, and attach those emotions to the goals you’re pushing towards. Though emotions aren’t tangible, when we reach that feeling it can sometimes be more memorable and rewarding than receiving a physical reward.

Have your goals be measurable. The journey that guides us to reaching our goals isn’t always an upward, linear path, and when it’s not, it can be frustrating. As you are sitting down identifying your goals, also write down exactly how you’re going to measure them. Next, set benchmarks for yourself to check on these to determine if you need to change anything about how you’re going to reach the end goal.

Have your goals so big they scare you. Seriously. If they don’t scare you, they’re not big enough. You can only grow when you’re outside of your comfort zone. Do tiny goals matter? Some goals are small and they still matter; but you need to believe in yourself enough to have those big goals that are life-changing.

Set goal reminders. These don’t have to be written down on a boring white sheet of paper—make these fun! Use vibrant colored Post-Its, set cool music alarm reminders on your phone, stamp and mail yourself weekly reminders, or even craft a DIY clothespin board where you can pin your goals on some type of ruler board.

Create a living document for your goals. In addition to having the physical reminders of how you will accomplish your goals, you need to have a living document where your end goals live. Set aside time, even just five or ten minutes, to look at this everyday and think about all the positive ways that reaching these goals can impact your life.

Know how your strengths will support your goals. It is common for candidates to take the Gallup StrengthsFinder test before entering the workplace as a contributing employee. Why? Studies have shown this strengths test to be accurate in identifying what innate goals people already have. Find out what yours are, and capitalize on them wherever you can while on your journey to something big.

Go get ‘em! You know you want to hit these goals, and now all you need to do is start. Start reaching your goals using the tools and tasks you’ve identified that can help get you there. Set your reminders. Reevaluate your goals when they’re not moving you forward. If you’re not meeting your goals, are they too big? Not necessarily. Don’t be afraid to ask for outside help in reaching your goals. Stay humble in this process, bring other people in when needed, and have an even larger celebration with more people when you’ve reached a new milestone. Never forget to celebrate all goals—big and small—with the people who mean the most to you.

Sarah Stokes and her husband Chris Herzog, who are both former WEAU television news anchors, started STOKES|HERZOG, an advertising and public relations agency in 2014. The agency assists both local and global clients with all of their corporate business consulting, advertising, public relations, and marketing needs including video production, website management, graphic design, social media management, and overall marketing.