Happy new year! Wish you all had a great holiday and exciting start of the new year. As a new year starts, it is time to set goals. I do this year after year, using different methods and templates. In the 2020 reflection, I realized that I achieved the best on my personal & business goals because I used the 4DX(The 4 Disciplines of Execution) method to develop my goals and agile approach to execute them. I have been using these approaches in my business strategy consulting. Why not manage our lives like a business?!

Go through the 6 steps with me below, let’s get your 2021 off to a successful start together.

First of all, go to my website home page and download “2021 Goal Planner“. The #1 tip for setting goals is to write them down.

  1. Dream Big, think wild. Set wildly important goals.

Why limit yourself?

First ,start with a personal mission statement like this: ” In 2021, I want to be…”. Use Buzz words such as: positive, productive, confident, powerful, present. Choose what resinates with you. I would suggest to stay under 5 words. This step sets the direction of you goal setting.

Then, you can start developing your Wildly Important Goals( W.I.G). Put them in categories of: Personal wellness; career/business; Family/Relationship, etc. An example would be:

  • Personal wellness – feel good about my body
  • Business – grow my business

· Family – Help kids learn mandarin

  1. What does success look like?

When you look back by the end of 2021, what are the things would make you happy towards your goals? This is a tough one. Take your time. However, this is an important step. If you cannot define the finish line, you cannot measure if you are doing well or not; you are likely to lose motivation quickly. Continuing the previous example, here are some success definitions for your reference.

  • Personal wellness – Feel very energetic, positive, focused
  • Business – Grow business revenue 100%
  • Family – kids able to sing 3 mandarin songs

  1. Take SMART actions.

SMART actions are: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Think about the criteria of SMART when you develop the actions to meet the success criteria. This is the step the drill down to the details. I suggest that you use 1 week or 1 month as a time unit to develop your SMART actions. Continuing the previous example:

  • Personal wellness – workout 30mins a day; using app tracking calories; order take out once a week; meditate 10mins a day , read a book a month
  • Business – 3 new customer meetings/week; 5 new consulting projects this year, 3 webinars in Q1
  • Family – Hire tutor once a week; Fridays are Chinese TV evening
  1. Prioritize

By this step you probably developed lots of great ideas of what you would like to do. Now it is the time to focus on the vital few. Take a look at your mission statement, refresh your memory with your W.I.Gs. Then write your SMART actions down in the order of priorities. Consider what is feasible for you , your schedule, and productivity. I suggest to focus on top 5 in each category.

  1. Execution

The many time I lost track with my goals were because they were not incorporated in my daily activities. If the goals are important, you need to commit time to them. That means block off time in your day to work on those goals. Incorporate these goals into your daily actives. The best way is to add them on your calendar. Block the time on your calendar for the activies you want to do. For example, if your goal is workout 30mins a day, put on your calendar. In case you have a conflict, you can move it around, but the time commitment is there. It is a constant reminder. If you worry about mixing it up with work items; use color coding on your calendar.

  1. Reflect & learn

Spend some time weekly to reflect. I often do it on Fridays. Before entering the weekend as a reset point, take 30 minutes to think about how are you doing on your goals this week? What is stopping you from making progress on your goals? I use a method called: Start, Stop ,Continue

  1. Start – Automate repetitive activities that take a lot of time
  1. Stop – Activities that takes a lot of effort but not making progress towards the goals
  1. iii. Continue – Activities that are working well towards goals

    ” A goal without a plan is just a dream”. Your goals will not be a dream. Go ahead and download the 2021 goal planner for FREE to get started. Follow the steps to transform your goals to VISIBLE. Wish you a productive, successful and happy new year!