This is the time of the year we start to look at what we want to do before the year is out and to begin thinking about all of the things that we want to do next year.  The challenge is actually getting those things done.  Where people make the mistake is not turning their aspirations into solid goals with a plan in place to pursue them for the upcoming year. Honestly, even once goals are created they can be difficult to reach.

There’s a big difference between goal setting and goal getting.  Statistically speaking, only 8% of people who set goals actually achieve them.  Typically, people talk about what they want to do, but usually there’s no action and no action plan, or there may be some action, but at some point it stops because there’s no plan.  You’ve been there before.  You have something that you want to do, but you don’t act.  You get stuck on “tomorrow” or “later” and we all know that “tomorrow” and “later” never come, or you just don’t know how.

What’s on tap for you next year?  If you haven’t thought about it yet, now is definitely the time.  Think about what you want to see happen and take those thoughts or statements and turn them into goals using   S.M.A.R.T. to guide you.  What you create should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.  Without these components, what you create doesn’t have the muscle that it needs.  Let me also say that what you create should be values-based.  If your goals are based upon your values, you’re more likely to accomplish them.

Once you’ve set your goals, you have to go after them and how you do that is crucial.  It makes the difference between being in that small 8% or part of the 92% who don’t reach the goals they set. Next you’ve got to create the map that tells you how to get there.  What resources, skills, knowledge, etc do you need to accomplish each goal that you set?  Identify the milestones for each goal and then break each down by creating the tasks or steps that you have to take to reach each milestone and ultimately each of your goals.  Think about the roadblocks and detours that you might be faced with and determine how you will handle them should they arise.  Then you embark on your quest.

Every day you have to visualize the goals that you created coming to fruition and you have to feel them.  Relate to the “why” of your goals and be excited about achieving them and be grateful now for what you are bringing forward into your life. Share your goals with others, make them part of your daily conversations and create affirmations to use to support you.

You have to step into being whomever it is you have to be to accomplish what you set out to do and act as if you’re already there.  Believe in what you’re working toward and surround yourself with like-minded people. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.  Before you take that step be sure that all of your puzzle pieces are in place.  Use these steps to set yourself up for success as you contemplate what’s on tap for next year.  You simply cannot accomplish your goals in any other way.