Around this time of the year, millions of people are hard at work on their New Year’s Resolutions. Some have already given up. What makes those who do realize their goals different from the rest of us? You might be thinking, “What do they have that I don’t?”

They don’t have anything you don’t have. Or rather, they don’t have anything you couldn’t have. So what’s the secret to achieving goals? Research has shown that when you make your goal real—write it down, visualize it, start taking everyday steps—you’re more likely to achieve it. What are the specific, measurable and actionable things you can do to make it happen? A crucial question to consider is “What is likely to get in my way?” What obstacles are you likely to face? This process can be used to achieve all kinds of goals, but we’re focusing on professional goals.

Ask yourself a few questions to gain a clear understanding and plan--then hit the bullseye

Ask yourself a few questions to gain a clear understanding and create a plan–then hit the bullseye!

So what other questions should you be asking?

1.) Start with Yourself

  • Why are you doing this?
  • Are you the right person to accomplish this goal?
  • What kind of a team do you need?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses in relation to the goal?
  • Is this the best use of your expertise and talent?
  • Does it align with your values and needs?

A thorough self-assessment can prevent problems down the road.  Don’t let yourself become your own worst enemy.

2.) Your Team

  • Do you have a team?
  • How will this opportunity or goal impact your team?
  • How will it affect family, staff, or the community?
  • Does your team have the desire and capacity to help?
  • What duties will be necessary and who will handle them?
  • Do you need buy-in from others to ensure that you succeed?
  • Does your team include thought partners, a support group, or a colleague who will give you candid feedback?
  • Who will serve as your mentor and coach?


3.) Your Environment  

  • What are the best practices, trends, ideas, legislative, and regulatory issues that may impact your work and are important to you?

4.) Your Industry  

What can you learn from your industry? From other industries?


Most importantly, ask yourself why? If you have a clear goal and clear and passionate reasons for achieving it, you’re well on your way.