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Archived Weekly Features
The Big Picture
Rebecca "Becky" Coates Nee, a veteran TV news anchor/reporter, is a professional life/career coach. Check out her website at to take the coachability test, subscribe to her free "Beyond the Box" newsletter and to find out if you're an adrenaline junkie.

Choosing Your Goals for 2002
By Rebecca Coates Nee
January 21st, 2001

Have you done it yet? Have you figured out what you really, really want in all areas of your life, the true Big Picture for yourself? If not, get
cracking! If you have, read on to find out how to make a list of achievable goals for the coming year.

Write down everything you think you want both professionally and personally, big and little, in the next year. A new job? Caribbean vacation? A pet iguana? Now, edit that list. Throw out all those things that aren't really yours. You'll know if the desire isn't yours if it brings up a sense of dread instead of excitement. If one of your goals is to get a job in a bigger market, for example, is that what you really want or what you think you're supposed to do to please other people?

Also, eliminate the pipedreams that you'd like to achieve but you know you aren't willing to do what it takes to get there. If you want to run a
marathon but can't even manage to fit two miles into your schedule now, make running the two miles the goal.

Cross off all the things you think you should do but don't really want to do. If, every year, you keep telling yourself you should lose 10 pounds but you
never do, then the goal isn't really that important to you. Get rid of it.

Now look at the goals that are left. What's missing? Have you neglected one
area or left out something you've always wanted? Put it back in. Compare your
2002 goals to your Big Picture goals. Will this year's goals help you get
where you eventually want to be or will they stand in your way? Throw out
those that will block your success.

Then, for each goal, write down the steps you will need to take to achieve it
in 90-day increments. List the smallest baby steps you can imagine. Put a
deadline next to each step. Try to replace every step that hasn't worked in
the past with a different approach.

Decide what new habits you'll need to establish to accomplish your goals. If
one of your dreams is to write the Great American Novel, how regularly are
you writing now? Also, tell someone about your goals. There's nothing like a
little public pressure for motivation.

Keep a success journal and divide it into a different section for each goal.
Paste inspiring pictures into each section and record your progress and new
ideas. Look at your journal every morning and evening. Reading your goals out
loud may seem silly but it works! Affirming your ambitions to yourself every
day will keep your attention and energy focused on your goals.

Most importantly, have fun while you're going after your goals. Life isn't
meant to be one constant struggle after another, most of us just choose to
make it that way. Try to go with life's obstacles instead of fighting them
you'll sleep a whole lot better on your way to success.