It’s that time of year again—time to set goals that will drive you toward greater success in the days, weeks and months ahead. But where do you start? We’ve compiled some of the best tips from top experts to fuel your goal-setting fire.

1. Trust Your Gut

Lynn Robinson, author of “Trust Your Gut: How the Power of Intuition Can Grow Your Business,” says your gut is an incredibly valuable resource that helps you make routinely successful decisions.

“Intuition is a skill we all have and can develop. One of the best ways is to ask questions of this inner guidance. ‘What can I do to increase sales this month?’ or ‘What’s my right next step to grow my business?,’” she says. “Intuition communicates through ‘aha’ moments, feelings, images, dreams and physical sensations. Trusting this wisdom can help you not only set strong goals next year, but achieve them, too!”

2. Get an Accountability Partner and Make it Public

Wesley Higbee, a business consultant, notes doing the right thing—a requisite of goal setting—is obviously a critical factor in productivity.

“Find someone that can help you be accountable to the goals you want to set and craft a plan to have them work with you throughout the year—or whatever period you need—to accomplish your goals. Have them help you formulate your commitment by allowing them to probe why your goals are important to you,” Higbee says.

“Make a public commitment to your most important goal. Announce it to your colleagues, send out an e-mail, talk about it with people, share why you're excited and what you're committed to doing. Psychologically, we don't like to appear inconsistent, so if we make a commitment publicly, we're much more likely to follow through.”

3. Make an Action Plan

Bill Corbett, Jr., president of Corbett Public Relations, reminds that actions speak louder than words—and that’s something to keep in mind when setting goals.

“Actually have goals. Write them down. Look at them often. Goals must be achievable. Write out the actions that must be taken to achieve goals. This is your plan but each action is a goal in itself. This action plan is what is needed to achieve goals,” he says.

“Each of these action steps has a series of steps and work that needs to be done to complete it and the move on. All or most of the actions must be taken before the effort is made to have the ability to achieve a goal. Action is require to achieve goals. Write down your goals and create your action plan for achieving them.”

4. One Day at a Time

Igor Holt, co-founder of Kovach Enterprises, says when it comes to goals, you have to take it one day at a time. Imagine how messy a week can get, he says, let alone a month.

“When we talk about annual goals, rationally speaking its crazy to expect things to go in any specific way. Now, this isn’t to discourage any business owner from setting long-term goals. Quite the contrary, I would encourage goals to be set, but in longer than three to six month intervals,” Holt says.

“Set them somewhere ahead and analyze your efforts once you’re there—regardless of whether you’ve hit them or not. Make quantum leaps whenever possible! If you set a goal of increasing your revenue by 20 percent in the next three months and realize with one week’s effort that you have increased your revenue by 10 percent, keep doing what you did. As a finishing touch, any and all business goals should be communicated with the team, established in writing and meditated on daily.”

5. Find Your Why, What and How

Mike Sciortino, founder and CEO of Gratitude Marketing and the best-selling author of “Gratitude Marketing: How You Can Create Clients For Life By Using 33 Simple Secrets from Successful Financial Advisors,” offers three tips in one.

“First, determine your ‘why.’ In order to increase your probability of achieving your goals, start with defining and clarifying your reason for achievement,” he says. “A clear understanding will help you achieve the best results and often times better outcomes than you expect. Know why you are striving and moving forward.

Secondly, know your “what.” Sciortino calls this is the strategy stage. Strategy is defined as a careful plan or the art of employing plans toward a goal.

“What's your plan. What has to happen for your plan to work?” he asks. “As Pablo Picasso said, "Action is the foundational key to all success.’”

Third, think through your how. This is where you determine the tactics you will employ or, in other words, the devices you will use to accomplish an end—your goals.

“To achieve your success, no detail is too small to escape your attention,” he says. “How will you get from point A to point B at the end of the year?”

6. Mornings Rituals are Key

Business and life strategist Melissa Mizer, CEO and Creative Director of MoreSeekers, suggests creating a morning practice or ritual.

“Start the year by creating a morning ritual that helps you start your day off well,” Mizer says. “Making time each day for prayer, mediation, connection with loved ones, reading, writing, exercise and other self-contemplation increases happiness and make us more productive throughout the rest of the day so we feel more fulfilled.”

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