The Missing Ingredient of Masterful Goal Setting

Ah, January. What a great time to be looking ahead and setting goals for what you would like to accomplish in this coming year. Goal setting is definitely one of the most important steps to success – both professional and personal.

But don’t do it yet. I’m going to ask you to do something else first.

Before you put your goals down on paper and create a plan for where you will go this year, I want you to step back and look at where you went last year. Here are five reasons why this crucial step must not be missed:

1. You need to celebrate your wins

No matter how many times I say this, I know there are still people who take it lightly or skip it altogether. Celebrating what went well last year will fuel your fire well into the New Year.

2. You need to analyze your pitfalls

Looking back at the goals you did not meet will give you valuable information about what gets in your way, so that you can avoid those same things tripping you up this year.

3. You need to measure your results

Once you have a sense of how much you were able to improve last year, you can use that number to set your sights even higher this year. It will help you stay realistic and still strive to hit that next level of success.

4. You need to look at the big picture

Examining the entire year gives you a birds-eye perspective of your highs and lows, wins and losses. You’ll see where your professional life took the forefront, when your personal life did, and how they balanced out overall.

5. You need to score your own performance

When you see how you put your skills to work, it will reinforce that those are what you need to access this year as well. Likewise, when you can identify your liabilities, you can plan to compensate or delegate to address them

Here are five self-assessment questions you should definitely answer before you set any more goals for next year. Download the Tough 20 Pre-Goal Setting Questionnaire here.

1. What went well last year?
2. What was most challenging last year? What did you learn from those challenges?
3. What is motivating you to succeed this year?
4. If things worked out perfectly, what professional and personal goals would you accomplish over the next three months?
5. What qualities will you need to accomplish these goals? For example, courage, strength, persistence or confidence.

Are you going to be like so many who burn out and give up on their goals and resolutions by March? Or are you going to set yourself up for success by creating a realistic plan by taking action now? Answer these questions, and download the Tough 20 Pre-Goal Setting Questionnaire.

If you want to start the year strong, be strong enough to be honest with yourself.