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  • Writer's pictureShawndra Holmberg, CPO-CD

Struggling to achieve your goals? Check out the 5 ways to make your goals work.

I've always set goals. I haven't always reached the goals I've set though. Sometimes my goals changed because my life changed. Sometimes I forgot about the goals. And sometimes I set the wrong goals.

This month I want you to revisit any goals, dreams, themes, mottos, or someday maybe ideas you had at the beginning of the year. Don't wait to review them in December. Look at them now. Let's make sure they're still a good fit for you, and that you're taking the time to work towards them.scary,

State your goal in a way that is 100% under your control

I no longer have "# book sales" as one of my goals because I can market my book, but I have no control if someone buys it. So my goal might be to "write and submit a press release" or to "draft a marketing plan" for 31 Small Steps to Organize for Emergencies (and Disasters). I also no longer set a goal of "losing weight". Losing the weight isn't in my control, but the choices I make and the habits I build are. Choices such as the daily walks or eating a rainbow of five fruits and vegetables.

Are your goals 100% under your control?

If not, how would you rewrite it?

Make the goal SMALL

Short term: for the next week or the next 30 days

Manageable: on the busiest of days

Active: the goal itself is taking the action

Lifestyle fit: something you could do for a lifetime, not just the quick fix

Leveraged: built on, around, or in addition to an existing habit or resource

If your dream is to write a book, build a business, create a family scrapbook, or [fill in your goal here], then make your goal SMALL. Set your goal to write three days a week for at least 30 minutes for the next two weeks. Or commit to attending one networking meeting this month and scheduling a follow-up meeting over coffee with one person you met there. Or set aside two hours on Wednesday to work on one page of your scrapbook. For more on making your goal SMALL, check out Small Steps blog post Set a SMALL goal.

SMALL Goals: Short term; Manageable; Active; Lifestyle fit; and Leveraged - on a background with a figure rolling a ball up a mountain

What would your SMALL goal look like?

Set up a BASE goal, a STRETCH goal, and a LEAP goal

I recommend setting up three levels for each of your goals so you can grow when life is working smoothly and still be successful when life throws a monkey wrench into the works. The BASE goal is the minimum you'd like to see. That is, if life doesn't go as planned for months—what would you still like to accomplish?

Next, what's your STRETCH goal? This one takes more effort, but isn't scary or too big.

Then there's your LEAP goal. Not that it should be scary but it should require some effort outside of your comfort zone so you can grow.

What's your BASE goal?

What finish line would make you STRETCH?

How could you make a LEAP this year?

Ask how your goal supports your mission, motto, or purpose

If you've chosen to go with an annual motto or theme instead of a New Year's resolution, how does your goal support it? If you've crafted a personal or professional mission statement, how is your goal related to that? If you don't have a mission, motto or theme, you can still ask why your goal is important and how it supports you and your purpose.

Identify how 'getting your steps in every day' gives you the energy to write. Make the connection between taking 15 minutes to clear your desk and building a new career. You'll find motivation to keep working on your organization challenges. Writing this newsletter every month is one way for me to plant seeds of hope (my 2018 motto).

How does your goal support your mission, motto or purpose?

Review your goals weekly

Setting your goals is not the end of the story when it comes to achieving what you want. You need to review them, look them over, and note your progress (and identify your challenges). Reviewing your goals every week, dusting off the action steps you forgot about, and inserting time to work on your goals into the week ahead is key to moving forward.

Sure, there have been times that you looked back at the end of of the year and happily found that you had achieved a goal you set in January. That was an accident. It's more common to end the year in frustration, wondering where the time went and thinking you'll never be able to achieve your dreams—unless you review your goals consistently. I recommend weekly. But monthly is better than annually, so dig into your goals today. Then identify when you will review them again and schedule it.

Will you review your goals today?

5 keys to your goals - 100% under your control; SMALL; base, stretch and leap; supports your purpose; and review

If you'd like to read more on goals, go to

We are two months into the year; do you feel you're making progress on your goals? As you may have noticed, I didn't ask if you're on track. Instead, I asked if you're moving forward. Things (goals included) sometimes take longer than we want, but a small step forward is progress, so note it, celebrate it, and plan your Next Step.

stairs climbing through a forest with quote: When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the actions steps. ~Confucius~


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