Thirty-One Days of Goal Setting – Day 27

Another day of 31 Days of Goal-Setting! Yesterday, we brainstormed about our quarterly or three-month plan that will support our 2016 goals. Today’s prompt is simply, Finalize your three-month plan.

Today’s exercise is mostly about trimming your list. If you’re anything like me, you probably get enthusiastic and really, really optimistic about what you can achieve in a few months. New year! New you! Anything is possible! But when it comes down the day-to-day, your ideal “I can do everything” schedule falls apart immediately. Don’t set yourself up for failure; make your three month plan attainable.

A few considerations:

  • Are there some items that could be knocked off the list in the first three months? Would completing some 2016 goals in the first quarter of the year give you a boost from the early success?
  • Alternately, are there items that you know you want to work on early, when your new-year-new-me energy is highest, because those goals are tough and you want to make a strong start?
  • Are there items that you know make more sense to focus on later in the year?
  • What items will need to be worked on throughout the year? How will you measure your progress, and what milestone goals would make sense for those measurements?
  • What can you realistically plan to do in three months? When in doubt, choose smaller steps. In my opinion, the disappointment that follows unrealistic optimism is a much bigger threat to your success than some transient frustration at starting small.
  • Don’t forget to make your milestones SMART!

What if you look at your list of goals for 2016, and you look at what you think you can accomplish in the first quarter, and there’s a huge disconnect? Like, there’s absolutely no way you can get close to a quarter of your goals done in a quarter of a year? That’s okay, it happens. My advice is, keep your 2016 goals in mind as you go through the first quarter. At the end of March, sit down and re-evaluate. At that point, with three months of information, adjust your goals as necessary.

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