How to Set Goals for the New Year that Will Work!
If you are like most people (including me) setting New Year’s goals seems like a good idea, but usually is a dismal failure. If you want to be successful this year, try using some wisdom from Appreciative Inquiry.
Brainstorm Your TaDa! List
You are probably good at brainstorming your To Do List! But for this project, brainstorm your Ta Da! List. Your TaDa! List is the list of the things that went right this year, the wins that you are proud of. They can be big or small.
Develop a Time-Line
A helpful way to develop your TaDa! List is to develop a time-line. To trigger your memories of all that you have accomplished in a passed time period, review your calendar, notes and journals. Think about what you were doing each month of the year, what you were working on, and what successes you had. I guarantee that you will remember forgotten projects and events that turned out to be important over the course of the year.
So for example, when I was thinking about this, I realized that it was a year ago last December that I started writing my blog. I felt pretty proud of having posted an entry for every week of the year on my blog; and as I looked over the catalog of entries I could see my own growth and development over the course of the year.
The reason why this exercise works is because most big projects evolve over time; they are a sequence of small steps that accrue. From day-to-day, it’s hard to see that we are making progress. From week-to-week, I couldn’t see my blog evolve—but when I looked back to see where I was a year ago, it is obvious to me.
Analyze Your Time Line
Now that you have a Time Line of your TaDa! moments, analyze it. What trends and patterns do you see? What did you do to contribute to the successes on your Time Line? So for example, when I look over my blog posts, I think about which posts seemed to work well and why. I notice which posts generated a lot of comments. And I think about what I did I to support the success of these blog posts.
Now Set Your Goals
Now that you have a TaDa! List of successes and a catalogue of what you did that contributed to those successes, you are ready to set your goals. Your goals should be based on the kinds of things that you experienced last year that you are strong in, that you are good at. They should pull on your strengths and be things that you experienced as fun and gave you joy.
So for me, I have set a goal about the kinds of blog posts that I will write each month with some clear expectations for how and when I will write them. (Don’t want to bore you with the details, you get the point.)
So What Goals are You Going to Set for Next Year?
P.S. As you can see, this blog is important to me, as are your comments and feedback! If you found this post helpful, I hope you will comment and share with your friends!
Dr. Lynn K. Jones is a Certified Personal and Executive Coach based in Santa Barbara, California and a sought after coach and consultant for organizations and individuals across the US. Her doctoral work completed at the Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University concerned organizational culture; she coaches, consults and trains organizations on what they need to do to create organizational cultures that are aligned with their vision and values using a process of Appreciative Inquiry. She coaches individuals on achieving their reflected best selves. An MSW@USC faculty member, Dr. Lynn K. Jones, MSW, DSW, CSWM, teaches Human Behavior and Social Environment and Leadership to social work students at the University of Southern California.