Are your goals for 2018 already a thing of the past, despite your best intentions? This is the right time to turn this new year around. We’ve been reviewing our resolutions and goals in this four-part series, beginning with assessing and investigating our progress. Now, we will adjust our goals and be ready to recommit to the results we desire.

Why is learning to adjust our goals so important? Because interruptions and unexpected obstacles are an unavoidable part of business and life. Staying alert to changing circumstances and adjusting to delays outside of our control are essential leadership skills. Knowing when and how to adjust a strategy or timeline is just as important as having the courage to set the goal in the first place.

Research shows us that if our goals are off track, two things are especially critical to regaining our footing: 1) resetting our goals to align with our vision, and 2) being very specific about how we will achieve our goals.

Align Your Goals

In her article in Harvard Business Review, time management coach Elizabeth Grace Saunders offers a simple strategy to ensure goal alignment. Following Saunders’ suggestions will help us identify our true motivations so our resolution-reset has a better chance of sticking the second time around.

Be Specific

In “Get Your Goals Back on Track” social psychologist Heidi Grant recommends simple actions we can take to develop the specificity that will enable us to track and reach our goals successfully. This specificity is critical to helping us keep our focus when distractions inevitably appear.

If we have now properly increased goal alignment and put a specific plan in place to achieve our resolution-reset, we should begin feeling renewed energy and excitement. This energy will keep us fueled as we track our milestones and review our progress each week. As we persist, we will experience the truth in Thomas Edison’s words,  “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”

Download Dale Carnegie’s latest white paper on “Recognizing Leadership Blind Spots.”


Posted by MaryAnn Means-Dufrene

MaryAnn Means-Dufrene is Tarrant County Market President for Dale Carnegie North Texas. MaryAnn develops tailored strategies to meet the professional development needs of Fort Worth businesses. Through strategic partnerships, she works with clients to create customized skill development plans to enhance the variety of solutions Dale Carnegie offers through both in-house delivery and publicly offered workshops and seminars. MaryAnn has tremendous experience in collaborating with organizations in Tarrant County, most recently serving as Executive Director of Susan G. Komen Greater Fort Worth, and previously serving as Deputy Chief of Staff to Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a degree in psychology, and earned her Master of Public Administration and Master of Strategic Human Resource Management degrees at the University of Texas at Arlington. MaryAnn lives with her husband Matt, son Hogan, and three dogs, Sable, Deuce, and Lovey in Fort Worth, Texas.

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