Let me start by saying I don’t do new years resolutions. I do however like to set goals that are practical, measurable, and achievable. I share them with others so I feel a sense of commitment. Last year I established a goal to run at least 5km (3 miles) every other day. I had just gotten back in to running after a “brief” 25 year absence and thought this would be a good challenge. I was successful. I averaged 6.18km (3.8 miles) per run over 182 outings last year. A resulting benefit – I dropped 39 unneeded pounds. I feel great, not just physically but mentally knowing I exceeded my goal. What did it take? Some good running shoes, a heart rate monitor to make sure my 50 year old ticker didn’t stop ticking – that would sort of defeat the whole purpose, a supportive and encouraging wife, and lastly, the tenacity to run in sometimes challenging conditions – every second day.

So what about 2006? What about you? Have you set your goals?

Congratulations if you already have! You get extra kudos if you have committed them to paper. You get the first place big blue rosette if you have also shared them with others.

If you haven’t established your 2006 goals, get at it!

I offer three tricks to setting your goals.

1. Make them personal. Set your goals for you, not someone else.
2. Make them practical. They can be personal or work related, or both.
3. Share them with others. This helps you commit to your success.

Actually there is no magic to this exercise. Just ask yourself, “What do I really want to accomplish in 2006 before it turns into 2007?”

I work with sales professionals; their livelihoods depend on their ability to generate sales. I still can’t believe the number of talented folks I speak with who have not taken the time to write down their goals, nor have they mapped out their supporting strategies to achieve their goals. I shutter to think how much more successful they would be if they set tangible goals, developed a plan to reach those goals, and shared their goals with their sales manager, a peer or their partner – or all three!

I had the pleasure of meeting Mark Victor Hansen a few years ago at a sales conference in Hawaii. Mark is co-creator of Chicken Soup for the Soul book series and is truly an inspirational and humorous speaker. Mark spoke about goal setting and I want to share one memorable suggestion he made. Mark had left small cards on the tables for us to complete. He asked us to write down one goal, the time frame for completion and then he asked us to have two or three others sign the card, not to agree or pass judgement on your goal, simply to acknowledge it. I have embraced this simple concept ever since, it really helps!

My last recommendation is to keep your goals visible. They do you no good tucked away in a binder or shoved in a drawer. Post them in your office, carry them on a small card in your wallet or purse, and put a copy on your closet door to look at every morning when you get dressed, or consider putting it on your computers screen saver. Subliminal reminders work. And don’t forget to track your progress. I found keeping my running log updated every second day was all I needed.

Plan to have a great year. I wish you success in exceeding your 2006 goals!