​Yes, it is the beginning of 2016, and it is time to develop your personal and professional goals.  Unfortunately, if you are like 97% of those that do set goals, they are developed with great intent and expectations, then filed away and never thought about again until January 2017.

Most of us have heard of the acronym “SMART” regarding goals, which stands for:

Specific– Goals should be specific or, in other words, precise. (Who, What, Where & Why).

Measureable– How would you be able to demonstrate and evaluate the extent that the goal was accomplished unless it is measurable?

Achievable – Stretch and challengeable within your ability to accomplish the goal.

Realistic– How does the goal fit into your key personal or business responsibilities?

Time Bound– There needs to be one or more deadlines set to accomplish the goal such as: By March 1st, etc.

This system is a great way to set your 2016 goals, but it falls a little short on helping the individual accomplish the goal.  The very well-known motivational speaker, Anthony Robbins, has a quote that fits this goal accomplishing topic very well: “If you talk about it, it’s a dream; if you envision it, it’s possible; but if you schedule it, it’s real.” I believe that this is the secret to accomplishing your goals, you need to schedule them.

Let me share with you an example of this so you understand exactly what I mean.  Let’s assume one of my personal goals is to “Lose 15 lbs. by March 31st.  The “why” for the weight loss is I will look better in my clothes, I will be healthier, I will probably live longer which are all very good reasons.  The goal is easy to measure, achievable, absolutely realistic and has deadlines.  I set a personal goal that I will lose 5lbs. per month.  All the “SMART” goal criteria are met.

Now the key to successfully accomplishing the goal is to schedule it!  I am a robust user of Microsoft Outlook which is a great tool for this goal accomplishing process.  I have decided that in order to accomplish this goal, I need to walk 3 miles at least 4 times a week, reduce my calorie intake to 1,000 calories per day and stop drinking all alcoholic beverages. 

In Outlook, I first post on my calendar what my goal weight will be at the end of each of the three months, 5lbs. less than what I currently weigh.  Next, I schedule morning walks 4 days a week from 5:30 until 6:30am with a reminder that will wake me up and remind me that I need to get up, get dressed and get my 3 miles in.  My next Outlook post is to weigh myself daily after my walk and record my weight to report my progress towards my goal.  I also set a reminder each evening before I go to bed to record whether I stayed within my 1,000 calorie diet and if I drank any alcohol.

By using Outlook to schedule and record the results of my daily activities towards accomplishing my weight loss goal, it reminds me what I should be doing daily and reports daily my progress.  It also helps me with my motivation and self-discipline which are huge ingredients in accomplishing any goals.  This system works just as well for your professional goals as your personal goals.  It also works well to follow your staff’s professional goals.

If you use this Outlook scheduling system as a tool to help you accomplish your 2016 goals, I believe that you will also find, as I have, accomplishing goals is much easier.  Good luck!

I’m Bob Curry, CEO Coach and Turnaround Specialist.  I look forward to working with you to solve your business challenges and maximize your leadership opportunities.  As always, I welcome your comments and requests at: bob@ceorsc.com.