This is the time of year when a lot of people sit down and look at setting goals and resolutions for the year ahead.

The aim of this post is to make this time as effective as possible by giving you three simple things to think about when setting your goals.

Here are my 3 M’s of effective goal-setting:

Your goals should be Meaningful – Effective goals are meaningful goals.  They are goals that give you purpose and provide you with an incentive to take action.  They are ambitious and bold and provide you with a real challenge.  Achieving meaningful goals is a genuine achievement that you can take pride in.

If you want to have effective goals, make sure that they’re not wishy-washy, diluted by a lack of faith in your abilities.

Make sure that if you achieve them, you know that you’ve really done something of significance.

Your goals should be Measurable – There’s little point in having vague goals like, “I want to read more,” or I want to lose weight.”  You have to be able to measure your goals with specific targets within specific timeframes.

A lot of people are afraid of doing this as it adds an extra dimension of accountability to their goals, but that’s the point.  You want to have a number to aim towards and a target that you can genuinely celebrate reaching if you want your goals to be effective.

Your goals should be Manageable – When I use the word manageable, I mean two things:

  1. Your goals should be achievable.
  2. You should be the one in control of the action steps towards reaching them.

Your goals should be achievable, but don’t let this limit your ambition.  Don’t confuse impossible with untried, but don’t fall into the trap of setting such absurd goals that you give up before you even start.  If I was to aim to break the 100m world record in athletics, that would be ridiculous and I would soon give up.  However, if I was to aim to improve my personal best time by 0.2 of a second, that would be a manageable and more effective goal.

You should also be in control of the action that you take with your goals.  There’s no point in relying on elements that are out of your control, like the economy or the response of another person.  Effective goals are reliant on you and you alone for progress and have action steps that are dependant on your initiative.

These are my 3 M’s of effective goal-setting.  Make sure that your goals are meaningful, measurable and manageable and I’m certain that you’ll be able to achieve more in the year ahead.

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