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5 Tips to customize your goal setting for success in 2024

What do you do if you didn't meet your 2023 goals? How do you regroup? Here are some tips to help you start again and meet 2024 with confidence.

For the first time in several years, I fell short of not only my production goals but some personal goals as well. I asked myself, “What happened?” I have a feeling that I am not alone.

The sage advice to write down our goals and be very specific about them has been around for a long time. Studies show that “vividly describing your goals in written form is strongly associated with goal success, and people who very vividly describe or picture their goals are anywhere from 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to accomplish their goals than people who don’t.”

I thoughtfully wrote down my specific 2023 goals. So where did I go wrong?

I am a huge believer in the power of uniquely designing goal-setting experiences to maximize personal success.

Below are 5 steps to customize your goal-setting experience.

1. Set the tone

Setting a positive tone for goal setting is essential. This starts with reviewing the previous year’s goals with a sense of humility and gratitude. Before you sit down to review, pause and notice your attitude. Are approaching your goal review from a win-or-lose perspective or an “I can learn something from this” perspective?

2. Clean the slate

After reviewing previous goals, it’s time to clean the slate. Some people like to keep their former goals to look back on them years later. For me, completely letting go of them by shredding or burning them feels very freeing.

3. Find your own rhythm

The New Year offers a built-in timetable to review and establish new goals. There is undoubtedly power in being part of a collective movement of goal setting. But what if that isn’t your personal timing or rhythm?

I realized several years ago that starting my “new year” on November 1st set me up for success. I spent part of November reviewing and setting goals and then all of December refining systems to support those goals. That way by the time January 1st hit, I was off and running.

By being flexible about your goal-setting schedule, you can also avoid the trap of finding yourself in February and thinking that it’s too late to set your yearly goals. Perhaps February is your best rhythm?

4. Maximize your mode of learning

Some schools of thought suggest that there are three primary modes of learning or absorbing information. Knowing which mode or modes of learning are dominant for you can support a successful goal-setting session.

Tactile or kinesthetic: Learning by movement or touch. Consider walking and talking into a recording device to explore new goals. Maybe you dance or work out before your goal-setting session to connect with your body. Cutting images out to paste on a vision board might be a great way to clarify your goals.

Visual: Learning by seeing. Vision boards would be a powerful way to visualize the new year. Also, a guided meditation where you literally see yourself living out your goals could be a great tool.

Auditory: Learning through the act of listening. Consider reading your goals to yourself, record them to listen to them later, or voice them to a trusted friend or loved one. Perhaps creating a song or poem that you sing or recite out loud would be fun. Play some music while setting goals.

5. Let it go

Once your goals are formulated and expressed in your own unique way, now it’s time to give them some breathing room. It’s time to Let It Go.

This might seem counterintuitive but there is a principle called the Law of Reverse Effort. Essentially, it states that if you want something too badly, you actually repel it from you.

My experience has been that it is equally important to be specific and deliberate about goal setting as well as willing to let what I insist on go. Although some people place their goals where they can see them regularly, I prefer to store them in a place out of view. Again, finding what works best for you is important.

This leads me back to my humbling review of this year.

Of course, the market affected the outcome of my goals, but even more importantly, I realized that this was a year where I practiced letting go more than usual. When I took a closer look at what I did achieve, it was far greater than I could have imagined, just not what I expected.

May your 2024 goal-setting be beyond your wildest dreams.

By Pam Blair

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