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Reset your goals in September

Sep 01, 2019

September is a great time to reset your goals. Priorities have shifted and business has changed. Moira Dunne explains how to review your goals from January and rework them to bring you through to December.

Consider the goals you set at the start of the year. There may be some you haven’t started yet, or some new goals may have emerged as the year progressed. Now is the time to re-evaluate your priorities so you can focus on the most important things to do between now and December.

Be realistic

By this point, you should have a realistic view of your busy schedule. Where can you find extra time to work on goals? Set yourself one goal to achieve over a realistic time-frame. Once you make progress, you will feel productive and motivated to tackle the next one.

Remove the vague

The key to making progress is to break down a big goal into smaller actions so you can begin to make gradual progress every week. Use short gaps in your schedule to crack through a few tasks each day. They all add up and, if well planned, will result in you achieving the overall goal by your deadline.

As Tim Herrera said recently in the New York Times: “Rather than looking at tasks, projects or decisions as items that must be completed, slice them into the smallest possible units of progress, then knock them out one at a time”.

Setting a good goal 

Here are five simple questions to help you set a good goal.

WHAT: What is the change I want to make?

Be clear and be specific. This will help you decide the work that needs to get done to achieve the goal.

WHY: Why do I want to do it?

What is your motivation? What difference will it make? Does this fit your overall vision and purpose?

WHEN: When does this goal need to be achieved?

Set a deadline for completion and then work backwards to set interim deadlines for smaller tasks along the way. This helps you stay motivated and focused throughout.

WHY NOT: What are the risks and stumbling blocks that may prevent me from succeeding?

List anything that may get in the way: things that could cause you to give up; things that prevented you in the past; things to avoid this time.

HOW: What actual work needs to be done to achieve the goal?

Consider each element of every task. This will help you develop an action plan.

Goal action plan

Once you work out the steps, you are starting to build your action plan. Add target dates, measures and resource names for who will complete the work. A simple Word table or an Excel spreadsheet will help you track your progress versus plan.

Be productive in quarter four

How great would it feel to finish the year on a high? Now is the time to focus so you can have a really productive Q4.

Moira Dunne is the Founder of beproductive.ie