Is it a Goal Setting or Goal Writing?

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Do something different with those resolutions this year. Write them down.

So, let's not only make New Year's resolutions and/or set new goals for the year, but write them down. Sounds so easy doesn't it? The reality is that only about 2% of the people in the world have written goals. I'd like to challenge you to be part of the 2%."

How many New Year's resolutions have we made and lamented a few months later? The challenge is, and has always seemed to be, to get the goals to actually work.

Goal setting has a very important component that is missed by many. And it is very simple. That component is to write the goals down. And secondary to that it is to have them at your finger tips, not in a drawer somewhere. Just like budgets don't work unless they are reviewed and monitored, goals need to be a working instrument. You need to review them, adjust them, and work them into your monthly, weekly and daily task lists.

This is the time of year that many people review their accomplishments from the last year, and set out to establish goals for the New Year. This can be a fun process and something that can add excitement and reward to your lives.

The next hint for goal seekers is, "make sure that they are specific, measurable, and time - bound. This is not new to people, yet as an executive coach, I see regularly that the goals people set our not specific enough, not measurable, or may not have deadlines that are reasonable. So, when you are working on coming up with your goals for the year, pay attention to describing specifically what will success look like.

Some examples of good vs. not so good goals included:

I will lose 10 pounds by February 15 vs. I will lose some weight this year. I will increase my savings by 5% per month vs. I will save more money. I will attend three networking events each quarter vs. I will go to more networking events. I will do something special for my spouse each week versus I will be a better spouse. I will get my pilot's license by June vs. I will get my pilot's license.

Some of your written goals may, and should be lofty. Those are the goals that should have subgoals. Depending on the nature of your goals, then, your plans and subgoals will be more elaborate. Conversely some goals may be that simple that they will not have subgoals. One simple action can complete that objective.

Goals don't just do it by themselves. Your next step is to have plans to achieve the goals. They need an action component. You may think that this is sounding "too much like work" but trust me, this stuff works."

The final point is to make sure that you celebrate, even small incremental achievements! So many times people achieve a goal and just keep going. Achieving success is cause for celebration! Celebrations don't need to be elaborate - a hot fudge brownie sundae works fine for me.

About the Author:

Marsha Egan, CPCU, PCC is CEO of The Egan Group, Inc., a Reading, PA based professional coaching firm. She is a certified executive coach and professional speaker, specializing in leadership development and can be reached at or visit

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