Newsletter: Resolutions, but better

February 2023 Socials (5)

Now is the time of year when we talk a lot about resolutions. From our December 2019 edition, here are some tips to help set – and reach –your goals with ease:

For many people, setting goals takes the form of making a New Year’s resolution. As a strategist and coach, I’ve seen that those resolutions often have adverse effects – they fall to the wayside after the first month or two, leaving us with a sense of failure and unsure how to proceed. I’m experiencing that stinging feeling of failure right now, because I didn’t meet my workout goal last year (to be clear, I didn’t even come close).

This failure reminded me that the best predictors of whether you will meet a goal are its structure and your approach. Here are a few tips to help you set and pursue your personal and professional goals:

  • Make It SMART. This is the piece of advice you’ve heard a million times, but it is so important. Your goal should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timebound. For instance, rather than, “I want to get to know more people in the firm,” try “I will go to lunch with 10 different people in the corporate department over the next 6 months.”
  • Make It Incremental. While the corporate department outreach goal above is SMART, it would be helpful to have smaller milestones to spur regular action, limit procrastination, and measure whether you’re on track. So, in that case, it would be better to define the goal as “Eat lunch with two people in the corporate department each month for the next six months.”
  • Be Responsive. Revisit and Reset to Realistic. The only constant in life is change. Things will happen, priorities will change. If you find your goal is no longer realistic, don’t hold onto it. For instance, I realized in June that I would not be able to reach my goal of working out 180 times last year, because I needed to devote more time to other priorities. Unfortunately, instead of resetting my goal then, I listened to my inner optimist. I held onto the goal even as I started to feel discouraged, knowing it was a losing battle. Had I reset to a more realistic and achievable goal last summer, I would have felt more motivated to accomplish what I was essentially after – being more active, more regularly.  
  • Give It Up. I know what you’re thinking, “you’re telling me to just quit?” No, we’re telling you to be open to the possibility that procrastination is a sign. Particularly at the corporate level, people sometimes don’t achieve their goals or finish projects because they aren’t the right person for that specific project or task. Facing that possibility and pivoting when it’s confirmed does wonders for teams.

I’d love to hear about your goals and how you’ll reach them in 2023. Contact us here to chat.


Precious Williams Owodunni | CEO & Founder of Mountaintop Consulting

This letter was originally published in Mountaintop Consulting’s monthly newsletter. You can read the full newsletter here.

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