Setting goals for the new year is an important step in preparing
yourself for success.
As we discussed yesterday, new year’s resolutions don’t work — at
least not for anybody I’ve ever heard of or spoken with.
But setting goals for the coming year — now you’re talking. It’s
been proven that the act of setting goals alone can lead to the
achievement of most or all of your goals.
Think about it: just taking the time to think through and write down
your goals one time, at the beginning of the year, can help you
achieve most, or even all, of them.
Of course, it’s a good idea to review your goals, and your progress
relative to them, at regular intervals.
But back to setting them in the first place. What is the optimal
number of goals to focus on for each year?
I’ve read or heard advice advocating one supreme goal for each year.
I’ve also heard people advise three or four, or 10, or as many as
Personally, I’ve tried each of these approaches, and each has merit.
But I’m a big believer in focus. I think if you have too many goals,
you end up dissipating your energy, time and resources trying to get
them all done.
Having too many goals ends up being more like a project list, full
of stuff you wanna or gotta get done. Not very inspiring.
On the other hand, having only one goal is a “make-or-break”
You could end up having a pretty awesome year in various aspects of
your life. But, if you fail to achieve that one goal, you may end
the year feeling like a failure, rather than celebrating all that
you did achieve.
Here’s an approach that has worked for me in the past. Think about
it and, if you are so inclined, give it a whirl this year.
You need to work with the number of goals that gets you excited.
And your goals should be balanced across the different areas of your
life that are important to you.
Anywhere from 3 to 10 goals is a good number to work with. And I
would say you should really, really focus on the top one to three.
These will be the goals that truly excite and energize you and that,
if achieved, will make the achievement of the other goals much more
Even more to the point: Your number one goal should be the goal that,
if achieved, will have the most profound, positive impact on your
As an example, let’s take a look at a typical health goal.
Many people set the goal of losing x number of pounds. This is good,
but I’ve learned that goals like this — just numbers — may not
excite you enough to truly change behaviors for the long term, which
is critical to achieving the goal.
Instead of just focusing on taking up less room on the planet, add
some details to your weight loss (or other) goals that truly get
you revved up and emotional about them.
For example, instead of a simple “lose x pounds or kilos” goal, add
the goal of fitting into an old pair of jeans, or a suit or dress
you haven’t worn in months or years.
You can also include activity-related goals. For example, one goal
could be to work out an average of four days per week throughout the
year. Or to train for and run in an 8K road race. Or to perform deep
breathing exercises every morning before breakfast.
You get the picture. Using a mix of measurement and activity-based
goals helps you add flavor and depth to what you are trying to achieve.
It gets you more excited about getting to work on them.
And, I think it helps sustain you when that initial excitement winds
down, which inevitably happens. Activity-based goals keep you focused
on the process. So even when you seem as far away as ever from a goal
or goals, you can still focus on the process, the activity, and be
successful with that.
As many of the great thinkers have pointed out over the centuries,
the process by which you work towards a goal or destination is just
as, if not more, important as the achievement of the goal itself.
Through the process, you gain in knowledge, experience, and
self-understanding And you prepare yourself to take on even more
I promise you, you’ll never lead a boring, dull life if you
continually engage your brain, body and spirit towards the attainment
of worthwhile goals.
You Can Do It!
P.S. What is your most important goal for this year? What goal
resonates with you the most, or if achieved, would make the
greatest difference in your life?
If your goal includes improving your energy levels or health, let
me help you. Get started today with the Secret Power of Dynamic
Energy Exercise Courses. Make this the year that good things happen!
Copyright, Karen Van Ness, 2011