As a coach, I help my clients improve their life and their business by looking at their self confidence, their habits, and their belief systems. Throughout my life and career, I have observed that if a business owner wasn’t happy in their personal life, this negative mindset had a detrimental impact on their business. Most often people come to me and say they feel “stuck,” and it is my goal to help them overcome this stagnant feeling through changing their mindset.
Being a coach is about inspiring people to take action. This aligns directly with the focus many people have at the beginning of a new year: to take action toward achieving their ambitions. Many fail to realize that the strategy you use in setting your goals has a significant impact on the outcome.
A great way to accomplish your goals is to completely shift your focus from defining resolutions to setting intentions. I will be sharing four steps to accomplishing your SMART goals for yourself and your business by turning your resolutions into intentions:
1. Reconsider making a resolution
Resolutions can feel like an impossible burden because we are seeing through a completely right or completely wrong binary lens, and not considering all of the progress we have made towards our goal already. Our own negative thinking cripples us, and these resolutions rarely result in a sustainable positive change. When we give ourselves resolutions, they seem like rules. Human nature is to go contrary to those rules even if they are imposed on us by us, and without realizing it we are hindering our progress.
2. Determine your intention
By defining a positive intention to guide our thinking rather than a strict rule that we must adhere to, we can be more mindful when making the daily choices that will ultimately lead us to accomplishing our goals. When determining your intention, look inward. Consider your values, your vision for the future of your business, and most importantly how accomplishing your goals will make you feel.
Setting an intention opens the door for individuals to explore a desire, ask deep questions, and organically build a support structure to explore and fuel positive change. Instead of striving for perfection in a resolution, you should strive to be flexible. Your life and the external circumstances that define it will never be perfect, but constantly adjusting and keeping your intention at the forefront of your mind can help you be the best version of yourself. An intention is based on keeping a positive frame of mind, and its power lies within having compassion for yourself.
Consider these guidelines in order to set a powerful intention for the new year:
- Clearly articulate what you want to cultivate or achieve
- Create an affirming “I am” statement around your intention that you repeat to yourself in the present tense as if it is already a reality
- Simplify your intention into one word, so you can easily carry your intention with you into the future
3. From your intention, clearly establish a SMART goal
Now that you have defined your intention, you can utilize this intention to fully develop your SMART goal. The term SMART goal is an acronym for setting goals that are:
- Specific: Clearly define the who, what, when, where, and even why of your goals.
- Measurable: Outline the milestones you’ll need to hit on the way to achieving your goals through asking yourself specific questions: How much? How often? How many?
- Attainable: Setting an unrealistic goal is setting yourself up for failure and be sure to set your own goals rather than basing your goals on the expectations of others.
- Relevant: Be sure that your goals align with your personal and professional values and the values of your team.
- Time-based: Set a deadline to motivate yourself to take the necessary action to achieve your goals.
When documenting the progress you are making towards fully achieving your SMART goal, it is essential to consistently check-in with yourself to reassess.
4. Establish your own checkpoints to keep track of your progress
Regularly check in with yourself to analyze your progress along the way. Do you need to change course, overcome a roadblock, or change directions? Establishing benchmarks will motivate you to keep moving forward and continue living by your chosen intention.
It is also extremely important to utilize your network in this process. Having a trusted mentor or business network is extremely beneficial because they not only understand to some degree the challenges you are facing as a business owner, but they can also hold you accountable for your progress. and give you feedback along the way. For example, when I meet with my LeTip of West Desert networking group, I engage in an open dialogue with members, asking for feedback and if there is anything I can do to help them move closer to accomplishing their goals.
5. Celebrate your success
You will accomplish your goals when you clearly set your intentions. As you reflect on your journey, be proud of yourself and your hard work paying off. Share your successes and celebrate with your team, mentors, and business network.
By setting an intention rather than a resolution and using that intention to guide your process of goal setting, you will be able to develop into the best version of yourself. You will be able to evaluate what worked and what didn’t, rather than getting “stuck” in the negative mindset. As you are faced with challenges along the way, you will keep your focus on your intention and continue your journey, making the adjustments necessary to keep moving forward. Having faith in the process and planting seeds each and every day will inevitably lead to your desired outcome.
Joy Huntsman is the president of the LeTip of West Desert Chapter in Las Vegas, NV and Personal Coach. Her workshops and coaching inspire participants to be their best selves, hone their leadership skills, and master the art of creating deep, meaningful relationships.
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