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We usually think of the New Year as the time to set goals and figure out what we want to achieve. But right now is a good time to check in on those goals and determine if they’re realistic and attainable. Of course there are the obvious ones: you want to be happy, have fun, improve personal relationships, be healthy and have your business thrive. That’s all nice and good, but how do you get from saying it to actually achieving them?
I use the following method to break down my broad stroke goals into small actions steps. While I like the idea of being happy no matter what—let’s be realistic—it is easier to be happy with money in the bank and a circle of good friends. Your goal has to be to do well first and studies show that happiness usually follows when you live your purpose. What works for me is using what’s called a Vision Board that I have right above my desk. It’s a board where I pin photos from magazines or affirmations and quotes I love that give me encouragement and remind me of my hopes and goals. To create yours, consider this Oprah article: http://goo.gl/gwiXL
Next on the list is having more fun. We get so deep into our daily routines that we forget what it’s like to have fun. I love what I do but I tend to work way too much so my goal for 2012 is to do something every day that is fun for me. Sometimes it’s as simple as reading a magazine or book outside in my garden, or having a friend over for a glass of wine. I also love riding my bike to the beach and taking hikes with friends in the mountains, but whatever gives you pleasure, be sure to set time aside for it and actually schedule it in your calendar.
Improving personal relationships also requires thought and specific actions. Perhaps you call your parents more often, but you stop texting your kids constantly when they’re out and about. I did this with my daughter and she was so relieved and thankful! If you want to be healthy, what does that really mean? Set yourself daily and weekly goals to get there by addressing food intake, weight and exercise.
Why do I focus on these personal goals? Shouldn’t I focus instead on business goals? I am. Unless you take care of your mind, personal life and health first, you won’t succeed in business.

The Right Way To Set Business Goals
Begin by setting your income goal first. What was your gross income for 2011 and what do you want it to be in 2012 and 2013?
Break down how that desired income increase is going to be achieved. How many extra days or jobs do you need to work to accomplish that goal? To make an extra $2,500, for example, will you work an extra five days at $500 or one day at $2,500?

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Beate Chelette is a respected career coach, consummate entrepreneur and founder of The Women’s Code, a unique guide to personal and career success that offers a new code of conduct for today’s business, private and digital world. Determined to build a community of women helping each other, after selling one of her companies, BeateWorks, to Bill Gates in 2006 for millions of dollars, Beate created The Women’s Code. In February 2012, to reach women everywhere, Beate launched The Women’s Code Online course. http://www.thewomenscode.com/the-womens-code

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