The new year is a great time for reflection and putting in place goals for what we want to achieve in the coming year. It may be you are looking to train as a makeup artist or build your freelance career. Whatever you are looking to achieve in 2017 it helps to have a plan.
Of course making a plan and setting goals can be done any time you want, but the new year brings with it a certain sense of opportunity so I thought I would give you some of the techniques I use for planning my year ahead and setting my goals.
I always think that successful goal setting starts with a strong commitment to make a change. To succeed, you must believe that you can accomplish what you set out to achieve, and that belief is bolstered by the support you give yourself. Be kind to yourself, have confidence and believe that you deserve to achieve what you want.
So let’s start with setting your goals, it’s time to get specific.
What exactly do you want to achieve this year? The more specific your description, the more chance you’ll achieve them. For example, rather than saying “I want to be a makeup artist” be specific about what you mean “I want to use my makeup skills to work on feature films”
For each goal you set, use some of the following questions to really hone in on exactly what it’s going to take to achieve that goal. The more detail you can put down the more likely you are to understand that goal and drive forward to achieve it.
Where? where does your goal require you to be? is this feasible? do you need premises?
How? list everything you can possibly think of that will enable you to achieve your goal, then break them down into a simple step by step process.
When? when do you want to achieve your goal, be more realistic than just ‘now’!
With whom? do you need anyone else’s help or support to achieve your goal. Do you need to find a mentor, if so who can you approach?
Are there any limitations? If you’re lacking certain skills, plan to train. If you lack certain resources, where can you find ways of getting them.
Why exactly do I want to reach this goal? are there possible alternative ways of achieving the same?
Now you know what you want to achieve and how you are going to go about it it’s time to think about how you will measure your goals.
Measurable goals mean that you identify exactly what it is you will see, hear and feel when you reach your goal. It means breaking your goal down into measurable elements. You’ll need concrete evidence. Being happier is not evidence; setting yourself up freelance and booking 3 jobs, is.
Measurable goals can go a long way in refining what exactly it is that you want, too. Defining the physical manifestations of your goal or objective makes it clearer and easier to reach.
Is your goal attainable? Make sure that it’s actually possible to achieve the goals you set. Now I’m a firm believer that you can achieve anything if you really set your mind to it, but for the purpose of this goal setting exercise I mean breaking your goals down into achievable chunks. For example if your goal is to be ‘the most famous makeup artist in the world’ and at the end of 2016 you haven’t achieved it you would only feel disappointed and worse still might even give up on your dream.
Reach for the stars but resist the urge to set goals that are too easy or too difficult. Accomplishing a goal that you didn’t have to work hard for does nothing for sustaining a drive to move forward, grow and learn. By setting realistic yet challenging goals, you hit the balance you need. Make sure your goals require you to strive, and even move into unfamiliar territory, these bring the greatest personal satisfaction.
When setting your goals it’s time to be really honest with yourself and ask yourself is reaching your goal relevant to you?
Do you actually want to do that Vogue cover, be famous, spend months abroad on a film set? Understand what your goal really involves and decide for yourself whether you have the personality for it, the time, the drive and if it’s really what you want. The main questions to ask yourself are why do you want to reach this goal? What is the objective behind the goal, and will this goal really achieve that?
Make sure your goal will bring you satisfaction, confidence, happiness and success. I throw this in here because success can be measured in many different ways, not just the most obvious, and success means different things to different people. For some it may be earning 75k a year, for others it may be doing a job that they love every day. It’s 100% OK to define your own measurement of happiness and success and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!
Next set yourself some time frames. For each goal you set yourself, add a time frame. Setting some deadlines can help you keep focused and give you some sort of measurement. Keep your timeframes realistic and flexible though, that way you can keep your confidence and focus high. Don’t be too hard on yourself either, be too stringent and you could face being demoralised if things don’t go to plan which is not going to help you achieve anything.
Another thing that’s very important when setting goals, is formulating it positively. Remember that whatever you focus on, increases. That’s the law of attraction. Write your goals down and file them somewhere close to you, it could be in your bedside drawer or tucked inside your journal, by keeping your intentions close by you will draw on them even when your not directly thinking about them.
You don’t need to read your goals every day but do make sure you revisit your plans every 3 months. Assess how you are doing, do any of your plans need to change? do you need to change the timeframes? Remember that these goals are not set in stone, they can be fluid and change, and even if you achieve them 6 months after you thought you would – you’ve still achieved them!
Set your goals, believe you can achieve them and watch while 2016 unfolds all the opportunities you desire….
Happy New Year!