How To Set Successful New Year’s Goals

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Gene & Julie Gates share “New Year’s Tips” on Texas Living.

Happy New Year!  It’s time to set goals as a Working Couple… but how do you set goals since your personal and professional worlds are so intertwined?  Here are the tips we shared on KTXD’s “Texas Living.”

1) Treat your relationship like a business.  We found our business skills were a secret weapon when we applied them to our home life.  When setting your family’s personal goals, bring home tools you use at the office.  Have a formal goal-setting meeting, discuss your ideas, put them down on paper, but don’t tuck those goals away in a drawer.  Like in business, put them up on a big poster that you will see every day.  We make huge vision boards with photos and magazine clippings and hang them in the garage and master bedroom closet.  That way our goals are in our line of sight multiple times a day, and we are constantly reminded to work toward them.  Then similar to business, have quarterly meetings to revisit the progress of our goal setting and determine which action steps we need to take next.

2) Get on the same page.  If you’re going on a New Year’s diet to improve your health… get the entire family on the same page.  Everyone else doesn’t need to go on the diet, but let them know what you are doing and why you are doing it.  If they know your goals, they will be your biggest cheering section and will support you along the way.  However, there is nothing more stressful than someone in the house changing the nutrition plan without telling the rest of the gang.  All of a sudden everyone is stressed and confused over the changes, wondering if they are also on the diet, if you will be eating dinner with them, or if they’re allowed to buy potato chips anymore.  If you’re going to make changes, have a meeting and give everyone a head’s up so they can get on the same page. 

3) Get on the same timeline.  Once you’re on the same page, this next step is crucial.  Let’s say you get on the same page by agreeing you want to buy a house as one of your family goals.  The next step is to get on the same timeline.  He might think you’re buying a house next year while she might think you’re buying a house next month.  If you’re not on the same timeline, she will be angry with him if he spends money at restaurants because she thinks you are urgently saving every single penny for a quick purchase.  So immediately after you get on the same page about a goal, decide on the timeline in which you will accomplish that item.  This will prevent unnecessary conflict.

4) Have a PDR.  Steve Jobs and the brilliant team at Apple realized there are a lot of great ideas out there, but what happens after the idea is brought up during a meeting?  You need to immediately assign a Person Directly Responsible to it.  The PDR isn’t necessarily the one doing all the work, but he or she is the one to make sure the wheels are in motion and the idea doesn’t vanish into thin air.  When you have your future meetings, ask the PDR to report on what’s going on with that item.  We ran into this problem when deciding we needed to have some landscaping done in the backyard.  We both wanted something to be done, agreed the yard looked barren, then walked away.  If we had assigned a PDR, we would have known which one of us was going to take on the task and contacted landscape architects for bids.

Those are just a few of our tips, feel free to check out the rest of our “New Years Tips” on this segment of “Texas Living.”  Happy New Year… may this be your best year yet!