Benchmarking Your Goals

So the first quarter of the year is already complete; how do you stand with your New Years resolutions and all of the goals you had outlined January 1st?  Are you progressing towards achieving them, or have they fallen by the wayside?  Before you freak out that it’s already almost April, and you haven’t lost a pound or haven’t made the slightest stride in attaining that promotion, check out these tips on setting your goals back on track.

Break large goals into smaller manageable goals.

It is easy for a goal to be ignored when it seems impossible.  Also, it can be difficult to see the progress you are making (or not making) on a large goal that seems intangible.  Break these types of goals into smaller, more manageable ones, and set deadlines.  Instead of just saying you want to lose fifteen pounds over the year, set monthly goals.  Don’t just set the goal of a promotion; set benchmarks, such as successfully leading a project, increasing the initiatives you are working on, etc. to have smaller goals that will set you up to achieve your larger ones.

Recruit people to hold you accountable.

Sometimes, vowing to hold yourself accountable isn’t enough.  In these types of cases, a little external support can go a long way.  Recruit a workout buddy.  Talk to a mentor about your career aspirations.  Even simply telling your goals to others out loud makes us prone to strive for them more than a piece of paper with resolutions on it that we can discreetly toss in the trash if we don’t achieve them.

Don’t be too hard on yourself, but don’t make excuses for yourself either.

It’s important to be realistic and to understand that sometimes circumstances change, and goals need to be adjusted accordingly.  We tend to be more ambitious about our goals as we are setting them; don’t lose heart if reality makes you alter them a bit.  Perhaps you had a goal of getting a raise, but the economy shifts and your company has a couple low quarters of revenue.  You can’t beat yourself up and give up on your goals entirely. However, you also can’t look for reasons and come up with excuses about why your goals aren’t attainable if you are failing to reach them.  Vow to be realistic about your goals, and make adjustments as needed.

With the right mentality, those lofty goals you made at the beginning of the year are still within your reach!

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