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

As Market President for Dale Carnegie North Texas, MaryAnn partners with organizations and individuals to build leadership capacity necessary for breakthrough performance. Through strategic partnerships, she creates customized skill development plans to increase employee engagement, boost individual and team productivity, and develop the kind of leaders people actually want to follow. MaryAnn has tremendous experience in collaborating with organizations in Tarrant County, previously serving as Executive Director of Susan G. Komen Greater Fort Worth and 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 from the University of Texas at Arlington. She is board chair for Presbyterian Night Shelter, board vice president for Girls Inc of Tarrant County, and serves on the board of directors of Women's Policy Forum and the Central Area Council for the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce. MaryAnn lives with her husband Matt, son Hogan, and two dogs Deuce and Lovey in Fort Worth, Texas.

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