business goals, goal setting

By Andy Bailey

Annual goal setting is the key to personal and professional growth. Think about it—to get where you want to go, you must have a destination. That being said, it’s not too late to start (or restart) your New Year’s resolutions.

With some help, and this handy goal-setting book, you’ll be among the 8 percent of people who achieve their resolutions.

Before we get started, think about what it is you really want. This may sound simple, but digging deep requires focus and honesty. When you’ve pinpointed your resolution, challenge yourself. Ask yourself why three times. If you don’t have three reasons to achieve something, you may not really want it. Further, by asking yourself three times, you’re giving yourself an opportunity to get to the heart of your why in wanting to achieve the goal.

Now you have a solid foundation. The next obstacle in the way of achieving your goal is accountability.

These four tips will help with that:

  1. Phrase correctly: Your goal-statement must be present tense, time sensitive and measurable. For instance, instead of saying, I want to lose weight, say, After one year I weigh 175 pounds. This is effective for three primary reasons.
    • This phrase format speaks to your subconscious. The present tense tells your inner self that this goal is a done deal. There’s nothing getting in the way of it.
    • When you give yourself a deadline, there’s an endpoint you can’t wiggle out of.
    • What gets measured gets done. Having a specific goal, like 175 pounds, allows you to chart your progress along the way.
  2. Create actions that align with your goal:  Now that you’re armed with your specific goal, its time to pinpoint actions that will help you get there. Using our example, what must you do to weigh 175 pounds by the end of the year? You can set an action to attend the gym x times a week or run x number of miles a day, etc. These priorities break down your ultimate objective in manageable short-term actions that you can track and measure a long the way.
  3. Record your goals: Committing your goal to paper elevates it from a thought to an action, and increases the likeliness of your goal’s completion. Countless studies show the effectiveness of this practice, and the accountability that comes with a visual representation of your intentions.
  4. Form a Habit: Record your goal and then write a corresponding action beneath it every day for 30 days. Why 30? That’s how long it takes to reinforce your wants to your subconscious.

Even with the steps mapped out, it can still be difficult to hold yourself to a resolution for a full year. Make sure you use our free goal-tracking journal to help you stay on track. Visit the Petra Coach homepage for the free PDF download.

Andy Bailey is founder and lead entrepreneur coach with business coaching firm Petra and serves as the Entrepreneur Organization’s global membership director. Visit his blog at for more business and leadership insight.