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The Importance Of Goal Setting For The New Year

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Finding HappineLeadership by Design: Leadershipss at Work
Akindotun Merino

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Akindotun Merino

Everyone has dreams and goals. Achieving personal and professional goals, however, requires planning and action. Learning how to manage time and set realistic goals will increase your chance of success in every area of your life. You need goals to get things done. However, not every goal is effective. The way that you word your goals will determine whether or not you reach them. When establishing goals, it is important to remember the Four P’s of goal setting. They need to be positive, personal, possible, and prioritized.

When you are creating goals, remember to make sure that they are positive. This means that you focus on what you want to achieve rather than what you want to avoid. For example, you would write, “I will achieve a promotion.” rather than “I will no longer work at this horrible job.” Staying focused on the positive will help improve your outlook and remove any negativity. This, in turn, will improve your chances for success. Reaching your goals will automatically help you avoid your present circumstances. When creating positive goals, remember to be as specific as possible.

When creating goals, they need to reflect your dreams and desires. Goals that are not personal are ineffective. Your goals should be about you and only you. For example, “My boss will appreciate me.” is an ineffective goal because it is not about you. It is possible to be a wonderful employee and still be unappreciated. A better goal would be, “I will find a supervisory position where I am appreciated for my talent.” If your goals are not personal, you will never achieve them. Making goals personal places the burden of responsibility on you, but it also means that other people do not determine when you reach your goals.

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When creating goals, you need to make sure that they are possible. When you set impossible goals, you set yourself up for failure and disappointment. Creating possible goals demands that you be honest with yourself. Some goals may require continued education or experience to achieve while others will remain out of reach. For example, it is not possible for someone to become a famous singer without any talent whatsoever. You need to assess your talents and determine what you can achieve with hard work and what will be impossible for you to accomplish. Once you have determined which goals are possible for you to achiev success will be within reach.

Brainstorming goals can become overwhelming. You will probably have more goals than you can handle. This is the time to prioritize your goals. Begin by numerically ranking your goals and choosing the five goals that are the most important to you. Choose these goals based on your passions, and make sure that they cover all areas of your life: professional, health, personal growth, finances, etc. All of your time and energy should be spent working towards these goals.

You should place your other goals on the back burner. It is not possible to focus on 20 goals at the same time. In fact, you should avoid the other goals at all cost. You risk becoming side tracked with less important goals if you continue to entertain them. You will need to reprioritize your goals periodically. For example, you can reprioritize after you achieve one of your top five goals.

It is easy to begin tasks, but completing them is much more difficult. Life will always find a way to distract us from our tasks. Given how easy it is to procrastinate and avoid tasks, most people have a list of tasks waiting to be completed. As this list grows, stress levels increase. By following a few simple tasks, you will improve your chances of completing tasks and staying on track and reducing stress levels.

Everyone hates doing small, mundane tasks. They may seem unimportant, but over time, they will pile up, which will diminish focus and waste time. For example, if you do not take the garbage out regularly, it will overflow. This makes a simple task much more difficult. Implementing the one-minute rule eliminates this difficult situation and protects your focus.

READ ALSO; Dealing With Procrastination

According to the one-minute rule, if a task will only take one minute, you should complete it immediately. Examples of tasks that follow the one-minute rule include: filing papers, putting clothes in the laundry hamper, and taking out the garbage. A single minute will not put you behind schedule, and following the rule will save you time in the long run.

Schedules only help people focus and manage time when they are done correctly. A common mistake that people make when creating schedules is to make them too strict. It is not possible to plan the day down to the minute. When creating a schedule, you should follow the five-minute rule. The five-minute rule is simple: allow at least five minutes between scheduled tasks. This time is set aside so that you can complete small tasks that you have been avoiding or neglecting. The five minutes do more than provide time to complete small, seemingly unimportant projects. They also provide a buffer between scheduled activities, which will help keep you on schedule in case a task runs longer than you expected.

Many tasks have multiple steps. These tasks may be overwhelming when you look at the complete picture. By breaking these tasks up into their basic steps, you will be able to remain focused as you work. Additionally, you will feel a sense of achievement as you complete each step in the process. An example of breaking up a large task would be cleaning out a garage.

Example:
Sort through everything
Remove unwanted items
Organize the remaining items
Put away items in their appropriate locations
Breaking down a task into manageable steps will make them much easier to manage. Additionally, you will be more likely to complete a project when you break it down into smaller tasks.

Finally, technology has made completing tasks much easier. Computer software and online programmes help you manage tasks, create reminders, and track your progress. Besides computer programmes, there are countless apps now that help you make lists, keep track of schedules, and complete tasks. No matter which smartphone you have, there are apps to keep you on track such as Reminders, Outlook, and To-do-list. You can make schedules, create lists, reply to email, etc. wherever you are. Find the technology that fits your lifestyle. If you try to use an app that you do not like, you will abandon your efforts completely. Before trying an app, ask your friends for recommendations and look up reviews online. You may also want to begin with free apps. With a free app, you have not lost any money if you do not find it useful.

Dr. Akindotun Merino is a Professor of Psychology and a Mental Health Commissioner in California.
Share your successes and challenges:

Prof. Akindotun Merino
Jars Education Group
info@akinmerino.com
Text: 909.681.0530 or 0705 629 0985
YouTube.com/akinmerino
Instagram: @drakinmerino: Twitter: @drakindotun

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Mental Health

Anger Management (8)

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Anger Management

By Akindotun Merino
You’ve already picked a solution for your problem. Now it’s time to create a plan for its implementation.

The following are some guidelines when making a plan.

1. Keep your goal(s) central to your plan.

Every solution has a goal. The goal is the specific and measurable change that you want to achieve by implementing your solution. When you make a plan, make sure that all the steps and processes you outline are moving towards this goal.

2. Break down your action plan into concrete steps.

A good plan is concrete instead of abstract, specific instead of generic. Think of the different steps that you need to do in order to get to your ultimate goal and plan along those milestones. Note the deliverable per milestone. Indicate the timeline for each milestone. Identify the people responsible for each task.

 READ ALSO: Anger Management (7)

3. Note all the resources you would need.

There are two kinds of resources: human and material. Make a list of all human and material resources that you need to execute the action, and make sure that they are all available. If they are not available, add an extra action plan to procure them. You want to make sure that your plan is realistic given your resources.

4. Plan how the solution would be evaluated.
A good plan doesn’t just include the steps to execute the program. It should also include mechanisms for monitoring progress and evaluating results. An evaluation plan ensures that needs for plan revision can be surfaced.
An issue in contention will remain a hot issue unless the plan is implemented. It is only when concrete change can be observed that anger can be seriously addressed.

The following are some tips in implementing a solution.

Stick to your plan. Note the what, where, when and, who of your plan and follow it to the letter. This will keep your end of the bargain explicit and easy to monitor and evaluate. Deviating from the plan can result to additional anger, especially if you deviated in areas important to the other party.

Monitor progress and results. Keep track of whether or not your solution is accomplishing the goal. Make sure that you put everything on paper for ready reference later. Log down best practices, risks and obstacles encountered.

Reward and revise accordingly. If the solution is working, note progress and affirm the success. This gives the two parties a sense of accomplishment. More so, the next time they have a conflict, it can serve as testament to their ability to solve a problem.

If the solution is not working, gather feedback. Surface the reason why the solution does not seem to be working. Make the necessary changes so that you can revise the plan as needed.

Dr. Akindotun Merino is a Professor of Psychology, CEO of Jars Group and Mental Health Commissioner in California. Feel free to share your successes and challenges:

Prof. Akindotun Merino
info@akinmerino.com
YouTube.com/akinmerino
Instagram: @drakinmerino: Twitter: @drakindotun

 

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Mental Health

Anger Management (7)

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Anger Management

By Akindotun Merino

Consensus means unanimous agreement on an area of contention. Arriving at a consensus is the ideal resolution of bargaining. If both parties can find a solution that is agreeable to both of them, then anger can be prevented or reduced.

The following are some tips on how to arrive at a consensus:

Focus on interests rather than positions. Surface the underlying value that makes people take the position they do. For example, the interest behind a request for a salary increase may be financial security. If you can communicate to the other party that you acknowledge this need, and will only offer a position that takes financial security into consideration, then a consensus is more likely to happen.

READ ALSO: Anger Management (5)

Explore options together. Consensus is more likely if both parties are actively involved in the solution-making process. This ensures that there is increased communication about each party’s positions. It also ensures that resistances are addressed.

Increase sameness / reduce differentiation. A consensus is more likely if you can emphasize all the things that you and the other party have in common, and minimize all the things that make you different. An increased empathy can make finding common interests easier. It may also reduce psychological barriers to compromising. An example of increasing sameness/ reducing differences is an employer and employee temporarily setting aside their position disparity and looking at the problem as two stakeholders in the same organization.

Identifying Solutions
Working on a problem involves the process of coming up with possible solutions. The following are some ways two parties in disagreement can identify solutions to their problem.

  • Brainstorm. Brainstorming is the process of coming up with as many ideas as you can in the shortest time possible. It makes use of diversity of personalities in a group, so that one can come up with the widest range of fresh ideas. Quantity of ideas is more important than quality of ideas in the initial stage of brainstorming; you can filter out the bad ones later on with an in-depth review of their pros and cons.
  • Hypothesize. Hypothesizing means coming up with ‘what if’ scenarios based on intelligent guesses. A solution can be made from imagining alternative set-ups, and studying these alternative set-ups against facts and known data.
  • You may also look for a solution in the past. If a solution has worked before, perhaps it may work again. Find similar problems and study how it was handled. You don’t have to follow a model to the letter; you are always free to tweak it to fit the nuances of the current problem.
  • Invent Options. If there has been no precedence for a problem, it’s time to exercise one’s creativity and think of new options. A way to go about this is to list down each party’s interests and come up with proposed solutions that have benefits for each party.
  • Survey. If the two parties can’t come up with a solution between the two of them, maybe it’s time to seek other people’s point of view. Survey people with interest or background in the issue in contention. Finding an expert is possible. Just remember though, at the end of the day the decision is still yours. Identify a solution based on facts, not on someone’s opinion.

READ ALSO: Anger Management

Dr. Akindotun Merino is a Professor of Psychology, CEO of Jars Group and Mental Health Commissioner in California. Feel free to share your successes and challenges:

Prof. Akindotun Merino
info@akinmerino.com
YouTube.com/akinmerino
Instagram: @drakinmerino: Twitter: @drakindotun

 

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Mental Health

Anger Management (6)

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Anger Management

By Akindotun Merino

The escalation of anger in ‘hot’ situations can be easily prevented, if a system for discussing contentious issues is in place. In this module, we will discuss how to work effectively on the problem. Specifically, we will tackle constructive disagreement, negotiation tips, building a consensus and identifying solutions.

There is nothing wrong with disagreement. No two people are completely similar, therefore it’s inevitable that they would disagree on at least one issue. There’s also nothing wrong in having a position and defending it.

READ ALSO: Anger Management (5)

To make the most of a disagreement, you have to keep it constructive. The following are some of the elements of a constructive disagreement:

  • Solution-focus. The disagreement aims to find a workable compromise at the end of the discussion.
  • Mutual Respect. Even if the two parties do not agree with one another, courtesy is always a priority.
  • Win-Win Solution. Constructive disagreement is not geared towards getting the “one-up” on the other person. The premium is always on finding a solution that has benefits for both parties.
  • Reasonable Concessions. More often than not, a win-win solution means you won’t get your way completely. Some degree of sacrifice is necessary to meet the other person halfway. In constructive disagreement, parties are open to making reasonable concessions for the negotiation to move forward.
  • Learning-Focus. Parties in constructive disagreement see conflicts as opportunities to get feedback on how well a system works, so that necessary changes can be made. They also see it as a challenge to be flexible and creative in coming up with solutions for everyone’s gain.

Negotiations are sometimes a necessary part of arriving at a solution. When two parties are in a disagreement, there has to be a process that would surfaces areas of bargaining. When a person is given the opportunity to present his side and argue for his or her interests, anger is less likely to escalate.

The following are some tips on negotiation during a conflict:

  1. Note situational factors that can influence the negotiation process. Context is an important element in the negotiation process. The location of the meeting, the physical arrangement of room, as well as the time the meeting is held can positively or negatively influence the participants’ ability to listen and discern. For example, negotiations held in a noisy auditorium immediately after a stressful day can make participants irritable and less likely to compromise.
  2. Prepare! Before entering a negotiating table, make your research. Stack up on facts to back up your position, and anticipate the other party’s position. Having the right information can make the negotiation process run faster and more efficiently.
  3. Communicate clearly and effectively. Make sure that you state your needs and interests in a way that is not open to misinterpretation. Speak in a calm and controlled manner. Present arguments without personalization. Remember, your position can only be appreciated if it’s perceived accurately.
  4. Focus on the process as well as the content. It’s important that you pay attention not just to the words you and the other party are saying, but also the manner the discussion is running. For example, was everyone able to speak their position adequately, or is there an individual who dominates the conversation? Are there implicit or explicit coercions happening? Does the other person’s non-verbal behavior show openness and objectivity? All these things influence result, and you want to make sure that you have the most productive negotiation process that you can.
  5. Keep an open-mind. Lastly, enter a negotiation situation with an open mind. Be willing to listen and carefully consider what the other person has to say. Anticipate the possibility that you may have to change your beliefs and assumptions. Make concessions.

Dr. Akindotun Merino is a Professor of Psychology, CEO of Jars Group and Mental Health Commissioner in California. Feel free to share your successes and challenges:

Prof. Akindotun Merino
info@akinmerino.com
YouTube.com/akinmerino
Instagram: @drakinmerino: Twitter: @drakindotun

 

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