The holiday season is upon us and I’m loving it.

This is the time of year for family, friends, good food, rest and relaxation.  You may gain a few pounds, drink a little too much, and stay in your PJ’s until lunchtime – but so what, you deserve it.

In fact, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a well earned break.

Relaxing at Christmas - The Leader's Digest

However while we have a little time on our hands, it can be an opportune time to look back on the year which has been, and plan for the year ahead – and although this may sound like a chore for some, for me it has been (surprisingly) the opposite.

I have just finished a goal setting ‘session’ of my own whilst sipping an ice cold drink under the shade of a beach-side tree.  Not exactly the toughest of jobs, but a necessary one for me all the same.

Now I have ‘eliminated the weeds from my path’, I thought I would share with you how I did it – and all in less than fifteen minutes.

So, grab a pen and paper, and a few refreshments (in keeping with the holiday spirit), and find a quiet spot somewhere.

Here are my 3 top executive goal setting tips for 2013:

1.  Reflect.  What gains did you make in 2012?  What was your proudest achievement?  What were your biggest lessons?  What are you thankful for?  Where is there room for improvement?

Reflection - The Leader's Digest

Write down all of the things which come into your mind while reading the questions above, and you will begin to form a picture which summarises your year.

Once you are clear on where you have been, and what has led you to where you are now, shift your focus to where you want to go from here.

2. Form your intention.  In the book If How-To’s Were Enough We Would All Be Skinny, Rich & Happy, Brian Klemmer says –

“When the intent is clear, a mechanism will appear.”

When we are clear on what we really want, our subconscious mind will provide the mechanism or vehicle to transport us to that place.

The key is for the intention to be true, which means we must feel a deep emotional connection with it.  Our true intent is deeper, stronger and clearer than just simply wishing for something.

To form your true intention put your pen and paper down, close your eyes, and take five minutes to visualise what success in 2013 looks like to you.

What are you doing? Where are you? Who are you with? What does this scenario look like? Feel like?”

When your intent is clear, your mechanism will appear, and the plan to achieving your goals will come by default.

3.  Write down your goals.  Now you have reflected, and formed your intention, it is time to be specific.

List the three main things you want to achieve in 2013.

Ensure your goals are SMART i.e. Specific, Measurable, Attainable (or action-oriented), Relevant, and Time-bound.

Now you have your goals, go and tell someone about them.  Committing to them out loud to a friend who believes in you, will hold you accountable and encourage you when you are feeling challenged.

What tips do you have for setting goals during your Christmas holiday break?

– Suzi