As 2010 approaches, like everyone else I am taking a look at what I have accomplished in the past year and what I hope to accomplish in the upcoming year. Each year I make resolutions and set goals with an optimistic fervor, which are then for the most part forgotten by late January. This year I had given up on resolutions completely – until I found this post by Amber Naslund on how to create measurable objectives.
It got me thinking. In advertising, I work with companies to set goals and map out strategies to achieve those goals on a regular basis. Yet somehow, I am unable to do this in my personal life (at least when it comes to resolutions). Why? Well, like with many failed strategies, I don’t give myself a clear path to action.
In the article, Amber calls to our attention that we must go beyond creating general goals or visions for the future. Setting a goal to increase brand awareness through the United States is great, but it’s really just a starting point. In order to succeed, we have to create measurable objectives, outline strategies and monitor our progress through established metrics.
So, sure, you can make a New Year’s resolution to get into shape – but what does that mean really? Is getting in shape losing 20 pounds? Is it being able to run a marathon? Or is it just being able to run up the stairs without loosing your breath?
A co-worker recently sent me this statistic: Only 10% of the population has specific, well-defined goals, but even then, seven out of the ten of those people reach their goals only ½ the time. To give ourselves a fighting chance, we have to forget about lofty resolutions and embrace the nitty-gritty – objectives. Goal-setting research suggests that specific, difficult goals lead to higher levels of performance than easy goals or vague goals.
This year I am abandoning resolutions and creating a plan, complete with goals, objectives, strategies, tactics and metrics. It may be a little more complicated than your standard New Year’s Eve promise, but I think I will find my results to be a little more than standard as well.