Over the holidays, I’ll take a long break to be with my family and to reflect on the year like many people often do. In that time, I often think of what goals I want to achieve in the new year. I’ll often start by asking myself questions like: How do I want to grow in the new year? How do I want to grow as a father, as a leader, and as a husband? When I was in the US Air Force, I would ask myself similar questions. How am I going to grow as a military officer? In college, I was a runner, so I would ask myself what times did I want to run that year? How was I going to train? What did I want to accomplish? Additionally, ever since I graduated from college, education has been a top priority. What books am I going to read? What courses should I take? What conferences should I attend? Great questions are often the seeds of change. It’s these type of questions that push me forward, and upon asking them, I’ll do these three things to set goals for the new year.
Make a list.
Planning your entire year ahead is so important. I will spend some time, even with all the busyness during the holiday season, to find some private time and get alone. In that time, I’ll take a lot of notes and make several lists. After getting my thoughts on paper, I’ll transcribe my notes into an app on my phone, like Evernote for instance, so I always have my goals and aspirations with me wherever I go. Whether I’m running from one meeting to the next or I’m traveling somewhere, I’ve always got these lists handy to remind me of what I want to achieve and what I’m working towards. Additionally, it’s a good way to keep track of progress over time. For instance, I could show you goals and resolutions for this year and from years prior all in my Evernote app. When I’m discouraged or frustrated in my goals, I can look back at the goals I set out to achieve years prior and see the progress I’ve made. The key to to check your progress often.
I learned that early in my career as well as from my dad. He always wrote these lists of goals, and I think it’s why he accomplished so much in his life. Not only him, I watched my superiors in the military do the same thing, and people I admired and respected in the business sector make lists and set goals regularly. Through that, I learned that it’s hard to accomplish anything without a list. Currently, I’m in the process of making lists and setting goals for 2019, and I’d encourage you to do the same and check it often. I like to check in weekly and monthly to ensure I am on track.
Make another list.
After you’d made one list of goals, you’ve got to write another list. But, this list might not be what you would expect. I actually witnessed this a few weeks ago with my son, Lachlan, who is my oldest son of six and is 23 years old. He’s starting to make his plans for the new year, and he’s come up with this list on his bedroom wall of all the things he wants to accomplish in the new year. I reviewed his robust list, and I said to him, “Lachlan, this is pretty good. I’m proud of you.” He went on describing the list to me of his professional goals, his education goals, his running goals. All of these things he wanted to accomplish.
However, a long list of goals can be overwhelming. I sat down with him about his robust list, and I expressed how proud I was of him and that not many people his age do this. But I had to ask him, “What are you going to take out? What are you going to quit to make your goals possible?” So many times I hear people talk about everything they are going to accomplish, but they never take that next step and make room for their goals.
We all live busy lives. Every minute in my day is already accounted for. The same is true for you. If I’m going to put in a goal that’s going to take hours in my day, I’ve got to think about what I’m going to take out. It’s going to have to come from somewhere. I’ve got committed hours to go to work, to be with my family, to rest, to eat, and to workout. What am I going to do to cut other things out? Is it going to be time on the weekends? Or family time? Or time I spend reading? Or health and exercise? The time it takes to pursue a new goal has to come from somewhere and I am always maxed out with no wasted time so I have to reallocate my day to ensure I can hit my goals. It always means cutting something out.
I encourage you to be thinking about what time you could take out and spend differently. Take stock of your life and ask yourself where you’re spending your time. You might even be surprised how you utilize and spend your time. When I do this myself, sometimes I’m shocked to see how much time I’m actually spending on things. For instance, like social media or tv. We have so much time in our daily lives that if we cut out the meaningless stuff, we’re able to actually get stuff done.
This step in the whole goal setting process is truly the game-changer. Don’t just write down your goals but write down what you’re going to eliminate in order to accomplish your goals.
- Try this exercise. Take a piece of notebook paper and fold it down the middle. On one side, write down your goals, and on the other side, write down the things you’re going to cut out to make those things happen. Make copies of these lists, and post it everywhere around your house, at work, in your kitchen, or wherever you’ll see it.
Having people to hold you accountable.
There’s one more factor that’s extremely important to goal setting, and that is having people to keep you accountable. When I sit down with my son and his list of goals or I sit down with my own set of goals, I think about what other key ingredients we need to accomplish these. And this is the secret: you’ve got to have accountability partners. This could be a mentor, a coach, a coworker or colleague, a friend, or your spouse. It’s someone who is checking in with you day in and day out to see what progress you’re making on your goals.
For me, I’m in a YPO (Young Presidents Organization) forum in Atlanta, Georgia that keeps me accountable. They know all of my goals including my personal goals, my family goals, and my business goals. They hold me accountable, and they’ll push back. For example, one of my goals is to spend more time focusing on my health and exercising. With much of my time focused on building the Bonvera business, I’ve let my fitness slide a bit. One week, I shared how I was doing on those goals with my YPO forum and that I missed a few days in the gym, and they pushed back. They challenged me to keep up with what I said I was going to do. They realize a healthy, fit, CEO will be able to accomplish more and this is also good for my family and me for me to be healthy and living a balanced life.
Having accountability partners that check in often is key. You should be checking in with your accountability partners, whomever they may be, on a consistent and frequent basis. Be checking in with people. Don’t do it once a month. Do it once a week. You’ve got to have accountability partners; it’s so important to accomplishing your goals.
The three things you need to set goals & actually follow through with them.
These are the three critical things you need to make goals for the new year, or at any point in your life or career, and to follow through with them throughout the year. If I need this and my son needs this, you do too. You can’t accomplish anything without a list. You need to have three things — you need a list of what you want to accomplish, a list of what you’re going to cut out or stop doing in order to achieve your goals, and accountability partners and check-ins on a regular basis.
Only do these things if you want to be successful.
This is only if you really want to be successful. If your goals aren’t that impactful or meaningful, you don’t need to follow this exercise. Or if you just want to follow the current and your goals aren’t serious, you don’t need this process. But if you really want to achieve your goals and see visible results, try applying these principles. Additionally, if you set goals with your coworkers, at your company, with your family, or with a team, have those conversations and set goals together. Ask how you can help your teams accomplish their goals.
This is so important to goal setting. Dream big. We live in one of the best countries in the world with abundant resources, and I firmly believe that anybody that wants to accomplish something can. At Bonvera, we have created one of the best systems that is a “business in a box” designed to help entrepreneurs achieve their goals of starting their own Bonvera businesses. We believe that entrepreneurship should be accessible to everyone and that success shouldn’t be so hard. We wanted to fix broken systems and help those who wanted to be an entrepreneur have an easier way. We’ve removed obstacles and friction points for our entrepreneurs, and we’re equipping them daily to achieve their goals. However, at the end of the day, no one can build the business for you. Just like no one can achieve your goals for you. Just like with me and my goals or my son and his robust list of goals, we have to lace up our shoes and get after it.
I’m excited about what Bonvera has accomplished in 2018, and I’m looking forward to what we’re going to do in 2019. With our goals, it’s bound to be an exciting year for Bonvera. If you’re interested in learning more about Bonvera and our business opportunity, we’d love to connect you to an entrepreneur in your local area to learn more. Contact our customer service team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (316) 260 – 2225 to get connected today.
Follow Robert Dickie III on Twitter @RobertDickie and on Taking the Leap Podcast. You can tune in on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or on your favorite podcast player.