A Different Approach to Setting Goals for the New Year!

So, we’re in the final stretch of December, when we usually start contemplating what we want to achieve in the coming year. You know how it goes—look back at the year, figure out what worked and what didn’t, and plan what we want to focus on in the next.

But let’s be honest. We’re all guilty of making these grand plans in December, and then come January, we’re like, “Maybe tomorrow.” It’s a cycle we know all too well. In his book “Triggers,” Marshall Goldsmith says we’re excellent planners but not great at sticking to the plan.

So, I’m trying something different this time, making those goals more doable.


“Triggers” is about creating behavior to become the person you want to be, and once you embody that person, the actions naturally follow suit. We’ve all set goals—be more productive, lose weight (seriously, why is that a perpetual goal?), wake up earlier, be kinder, and so on. But let’s be honest, they usually fizzle out, and we return to our old ways.

We have good intentions but are not good at putting them into practice. However, we can look at these goals differently by asking ourselves three questions.

Three Questions

These questions can bring clarity to what you want to experience.

  1. Who do you want to be?

Think about the characteristics that define you. What sets you off? (“Triggers” is a goldmine for understanding this.) What are your standards? What values do you live by? In other words, get to know yourself. Life, work, and the social media circus can make us lose sight of who we are, what we value, and who we want to be.

  1. Do your goals help you become that person?

Consider this the reality check. Will achieving these goals mold you into someone you want others to see? Pay attention to your emotions—they’re the compass indicating if you’re moving towards or away from your goals. Are these goals a “have to” or a “want to”?

  1. How much do these goals matter in your life?

On a scale of 1 to 10, how committed are you to making them happen? What will reaching these goals do for you?

One last question!

This one’s a game-changer. It’s not about judging; it’s about facts, a daily check-in to see if you’re on track. No beating yourself up; just an objective evaluation.

Being disciplined about goals can feel like a chore. But here’s the kicker: Make it non-negotiable. Use that 1-10 scale and cut yourself some slack.

Like Marshall, I use a weekly spreadsheet with a column for each day of the week. I list my goals and mark each day on how well I did that day for each goal. Initially, I stumbled after two days. I had a lot of zeros! But guess what? I’m back on track.


So, let’s base our goals on becoming the person we want to be. The secret sauce for crafting goals excites us and pushes us to grow.

I highly recommend Marshall Goldsmith’s book, “Triggers.” It gave me an entirely new way of approaching goal setting.


Wishing you all a fabulous New Year!

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About Chris Sier

Over the course of her career, Chris Sier has been a leader, business development manager, process consultant, and corporate coach. Having been an executive/leadership/career coach with a Fortune 200 company; and since 2009, as a business owner, Chris has worked with VPs, directors, team leaders, and high potentials globally, working with clients to maintain their competitive edge, manage complexity, drive growth and operational efficiency, and inspire and engage multi-generational teams. She also works with clients on their brand and career management. She has authored numerous booklets and articles, and has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Community Development with a minor in Psychology from Central Michigan University.


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Chris skillfully coached me to recognize my strengths and leverage them

It is likely that you are considering a course of action to improve your leadership skills. It is also likely that this is something that you have been thinking about for some time; perhaps you read some books and took some company sponsored training or workshops. You are probably doing OK, but wondering if there isn’t something that you could be doing better.

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You are reading this because you are considering investing in your future as a leader. If you are ready to be challenged (in a very nice way), and willing to take some personal risk I can think of no more productive activity than to engage in a series of coaching sessions with Chris. If after reading this you would like to have a conversation with me, Chris knows how to reach me. If she gives you my number, I would be delighted to have that conversation.

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