How to get what you want in 2014 (Part 2:3)

What do you want to achieve in 2014?

Which goals would make a big difference to how you feel about yourself and the year ahead? 

What “if only’s..” would you like to turn into reality?

2013 turned into the year where I achieved most of the goals I had set for myself, both professionally and personally.

But it wasn’t just wishful thinking or good luck.

The key for me was motivation.


How did I stay motivated?

Through knowing and connecting fully to the why of each specific goal.

Tapping into ‘why’ we want to achieve a goal is a big step towards accomplishing it. 

Recognising our ‘why’ taps into our emotions. Emotions are what fire us up and enable us to overcome boredom, challenges and roadblocks.

Research also validates the link between our emotional connection and goal attainment – in his bestselling book The Winner’s Bible, neuroscientist Dr Kerry Spackman cleverly demonstrates the value of emotionally connecting through visual images to our goals and consequently improving our chances of achieving them through ‘rewiring’ our brain.

As part two in my three part series on goals (click here to read part one), today’s blog post covers two important criteria – the what and the why in setting your goals for 2014.

Let’s start with the what

Once again, find a quiet place where you will be free from interruptions.

Answer the following questions, making sure you write them down.

1.      What are your goals for 2014? What does success look like for you?

2.      If you are sitting in the same spot you are in right now, 12 months on, what would you like to have happened?

3.      How will you know when you have achieved each one of these goals?

4.      Describe the best case scenario.

5.      What specifically would have happened? What will you be seeing, feeling, and doing when you achieve this goal?

Ideally, you will cover all areas of your life, not just professional.

At this point, spend some time making sure your goals are SMART .

SMART goals

And written down. If your goals are not written down, they are not goals, they are just wishful thinking.

Goal setting is an area where the saying “quality is better than quantity” definitely applies. Having too many goals can lead to loss of focus. Some say write no more than 10, but one goal achieved is better than ten failed, so only include those that you really, really want.

Next, explore the why.

Ask yourself:

1.      Why is this goal important to me?

2.      What specifically about this goal is significant to me?

3.      How will I feel if I achieve it?  What will it mean for me? For others?

4.      What are the consequences of not achieving this goal?  And what  will that feel like?

5.      On a scale of 1-10, how much do I want this goal?  Note: Anything less than an 8 and you probably have a goal that is a ‘should’ vs a ‘want’.

In my next blog post I will explore how to overcome potential obstacles and set out a specific action plan.

Have you set your goals for 2014? What tips do you have for identifying your what and why when goal setting? 

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1 Comment

  1. […] once you have laid out your goals (refer to post 2 in this series), turn your attention to the obstacles which are likely to […]

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Suzi McAlpine

Suzi McAlpine is a Leadership Development Specialist and author of the award-winning leadership blog, The Leader’s Digest. She writes and teaches about accomplished leadership, what magic emerges when it’s present, and how to ignite better leadership in individuals, teams and organisations. Suzi has been a leader and senior executive herself, working alongside CEOs and executive teams in a variety of roles. Her experience has included being a head-hunter, an executive coach, and a practice leader for a division at the world’s largest HR consulting firm. Suzi provides a range of services as a Leadership Development Specialist, including executive coaching, leadership workshops and development programmes for CEOs, leadership teams and organisations throughout New Zealand.

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