Goal Setting Lessons from 2014

29 Dec

I love this time of the year – it’s when I review my results for the current year and set my goals for the upcoming year. I remember doing this very exercise last year and being amazed at how many of my goals I’d accomplished.

I know that many business leaders and almost all of my mentors spend some time during the holiday season reviewing their accomplishments for the current calendar year. As I read though my 2014 goals this morning, I remembered a video I watched recently on Jeff Walker’s blog. Jeff recommended a very simple and effective method for reviewing your results by asking two questions:

  1. What went well?
  2. What would I do differently?

You can watch Jeff’s video below:


Goal setting tips

As you prepare to review your year and set your goals for 2015, I’d like to share some of the key lessons I’ve learned with regards to goal setting:

Be authentic: this means setting goals that are truly aligned to who you are and having a clear vision of the end result. In the corporate world, I often see people setting their career goals based on what’s expected of them from peers or managers, rather than choosing their own path. A quick way to test the authenticity of your goal is to reflect on it and observe how it makes you feel. If it excites you, you’re on the right track! Don’t be put off if your goal scares you because this just means you may need some personal growth to get there – and that’s perfectly fine. If, on the other hand, your goal makes you feel anxious or flat, spend some time reflecting on the source of this feeling to determine where your goal came from and decide whether its something you really want.

Quality over Quantity: this year, I ticked fewer things off my list but achieved my two most significant goals:

  1. I completed my coaching certification through Bob Proctor’s company, the Proctor Gallagher Institute
  2. I built my online Life Coaching program – which I will be launching early 2015.

Whatever you choose to focus on in 2015, do it well and allow yourself to experience the satisfaction of completing a major task.

Evaluate your plan & performance: I set my major goals at the start of each year and then I back this up with a work plan that I review and adjust on a weekly basis. If you’re taking on something new and complex, be prepared to make adjustments along the way. Some tasks will take longer to complete compared to your expectations, while others will be quicker and easier than expected. Also, don’t forget that you need to factor in time for enjoying life with family and friends, relaxation and sleep. I realised this year that I can no longer pull all-nighters and expect to be fully functional the next day! Every now and then I also allow myself a day to veg out in front of the TV and watch movies – and while I know its a waste of time, sometimes my mind and body demand down-time and I’m so much more productive afterwards. When you choose to have down-time, enjoy it and don’t feel guilty – guilt is a complete waste of your time and energy.

Focus on your personal growth: I’ve made the most progress on my goals since I started focusing more on the type of person I need to be to achieve my goals, rather than solely on the goals. Identify your areas of growth by observing the characteristics and behaviours of people you admire – if you pay close attention, you’ll discover what it is they do to have an edge over others and you can model these behaviours. I also highly recommend finding a mentor if you don’t have one already – this could be through a formal coaching arrangement or by approaching someone you respect and asking them to mentor you in a specific area.

Keep Going! My final lesson for the year comes from Will Smith’s quote in the 1996 blockbuster: Independence Day, when he says “Remember, it ain’t over til the fat lady sings”. There are still a few days of 2014 left so don’t underestimate your ability to tick off a few more goals or make further progress on some of them.

I realised this morning that I accomplished a major goal in the last couple of days – it was a goal I’d almost forgotten about because with my focus this year being on completing my coaching program, I had decided to postpone my singing goals (specifically finding an agent and performing at clubs) to 2015, following my program launch.  As it turned out, opportunity came knocking and an agent called a friend of mine and asked us both to put on a 3 hour show as a part of a trio. Luckily we had a pretty big repertoire ready to go and were able to pull off a successful gig with a few day’s notice! Here’s a photo from the gig that someone took from the audience:
Caroline & Dominique
So with just a few days of 2014 remaining, I ticked off the following goal:

“Find an agent and perform at a paid gig”.

The year is not over so keep going!



What have you learned or accomplished in 2014? Please leave a comment below and let me know.

Best regards,

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