Upside-Down Goal Setting

Like many others, I’m not a fan of New Year Resolutions. Naturally, the dawning of a brand new year is a great time to take stock and think about all the changes we want to make; but experience shows that the majority of resolutions fall by the wayside, and by February most of us will be back to our bad old ways.

So if you want to make changes – and like the idea of doing things a bit differently this year – here’s a new approach:

Rather than looking ahead from the beginning of January and trying to figure out what you want to achieve in the coming months, try projecting yourself forward and looking back as if from the end of the year instead.  Imagine that it’s the end of 2011 and you’re sitting down to reflect on the successes and achievements of the year just passed.

Sit down with a sheet of paper and write 2011 Was A Great Year for Me Because …  at the top.  Then simply write a list of all the things you achieved and what it was that made it such a great year.   

It may feel a bit strange, but you’ll be surprised at how much easier it is to approach things this way.  Imagining that your successes have already happened is a great way to set your intentions for the year and should leave you feeling inspired, energised and motivated.  That's a lot better than the sinking feeling that often accompanies setting New Year's Resolutions.

All you have to do now is plan how you’re going to make those achievements happen.  Using a year planner, diary or Outlook, make a note of what you need to do and when.  Some goals will be straightforward, e.g. book weekend break in May.  Others may require action on a daily or weekly basis.  Break bigger goals down into small action steps and schedule each step. 
To help with planning, you'll find a handy template called 5 Goals to Reach in the Next 90 Days in the Free Stuff section of my website 

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(c) Annabel Sutton, Coaching Tips 2011 

One Response to “Upside-Down Goal Setting”

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  1. Harry says:

    You may want to check out a cool goal setting tool:

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