Goals: Different Kinds of New Year Resolutions – The ones that get done!
Every year everyone gets a fresh start. False! Everyone gets a fresh start EVERY DAY. The truth is that there is a great tradition to set and start new resolutions once we turn the page to that first day of the new calendar year. Unfortunately, the surge of excitement and motivation is usually lost by the end of January and the new year resolutions are soon to be forgotten or even given up on. There are many debates surrounding the fact of whether or not to even set resolutions. Especially when statistics say that only 8% of people are successful at fulfilling their resolutions. I will choose to focus on the promising and positive statistic: You are 10% more likely to achieve your goals if you explicitly make them.
If this motivates you, don’t go running around the house to find a pen and a post-it note just yet. If you think about making another list or deciding to focus yet again on losing weight, just stop and finish reading this “short” post first. Making lists is easy. Also copying the same resolution from years past will not change anything. You are fooling yourself if you think that this year is merely different because you believe you are motivated. Sure, you can blame yourself all you want, or even find different excuses why you didn’t succeed in the past, but this badgering and negative focus will take you nowhere different than it took you last year’s 1st of January or the one before that.
If you truly want to see something change, and more importantly, see changes within yourself, then do things differently. What a revelation smart-ass! (You might be thinking) I’ve been doing things differently every year! Change requires work, as you might be very aware of this, but you might not have grasped the full implications yet. Writing a sentence and announcing it to the world is much easier than what comes afterwards: the 365 days where you will need to work extremely hard to make that sentence a reality. It’s not enough to do things differently and hope for better results. You need to fully understand the steps and to fully own the change.
Think about the difference between jumping over a one-foot mud puddle and doing a competitive pole jumping over some high bar and a little sand at the Olympics. The concept of jumping remains the same, the approach changes a little because of the different tools involved, but the most significant change is that the latter requires real training. Not only months and years of training, but more effort, focus and a higher purpose for achieving it: you will be a champion if you succeed it, and an Olympic athlete if you give it your best try and still fail it. Both of these results cause positive outcomes because of the amount of work you put into it. It does not matter how much or how hard the work is, you will do it successfully if you know for a fact that it will cause a win-win result. A positive outcome, no matter what! That type of work is inspirational.
“Nothing that’s worthwhile is ever easy.” – Nicholas Sparks.
If you want to make this year different and if you want to set yourself apart from the mediocrity of the crowd, then I will make you work hard on your resolutions. First, I will help you turn these into goals so you have a better chance of achieving them. I will make you work harder than you can imagine because this will truly prepare you for what is to come. There will be 365 days of intentional work for you to achieve your goals. Every day of this year, you will work purposefully towards your success. The question remains if you are ready to commit and have the courage to take the jump.
Here are the 5 Secrets of Successfully Setting and Achieving Your Goals:
1. Make it your Own
2. Have SMART Goals
3. Start Now
4. Seeing is Believing
5. Review and Celebrate
Before you read on, ask yourself if you are ready to solve any problems in your life or ready to follow any of your biggest dreams. The main pre-requisite to following these steps is confidence in yourself and your ability. You must have the absolute confidence that you can change and that you have the power within yourself to accomplish everything you set your mind to.
MAKE IT YOUR OWN
This is your
resolution. Scratch that. It is your goal! Forget everything you heard others say of what they should be doing, or what you should do to better yourself or your life. Most of the time people love to play with reverse psychology and when they say that they wish they would do something, it is quite obvious they mean that you should do that something. Stop falling for it. You deserve better. You deserve to make your own goals and follow your own dreams. Let’s say that you really do want to lose weight, but this resolution is just so universal, unoriginal and everyone wants to do it. You can make it your own! Think of owning this with your heart instead of your head. For example: “I want to take a red bikini picture in Maui and post it on my Facebook page on the 5th month anniversary of my breakup from my ex.” You go girl!
HAVE SMART GOALS
This is the key that separates mere resolutions from goals. Goals can be smarter! To have powerful goals they need to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-focused, and Time-bound. You need to address all of these 5 points to write a powerful action based goal. For example, I will write a book this year. It is very weak and doesn’t fully engage your passion and your determination. To make it a SMART goal, you need to dig deeper and expand your simple sentence. I will write a compelling 300-page sci-fi novel by the 20th of May, have it fully edited by the end of July, and will publish it by 31st of August, in time for our family reunion trip where they can all read and enjoy it.
Obviously, you need to start somewhere, somehow, and some time. The common saying “The best time to start is now” is FALSE. Now might not be a good time for you. Sure, most people might fight to their teeth about this and insist that it is better to start now rather than later. I don’t agree, and I’m not going to try to fork feed it to you like some type of nutritious spinach leaves. You are a grown up and it’s your choice of whether to eat your vegetables or not. But, seriously, no one can dictate when it is the best time for you to start. Not even the calendar! The true secret is to find your own best start date. It has to have great importance and meaning to you! I just want to reinforce that it does not have to be the 1st of January or the first Monday of the next week or month. It is important to own that date. It could be your birthdate, your favorite number from 1 to 31, the first full moon in the third month of the year, or your dogs neuter anniversary. The examples are endless.
SEEING IS BELIEVING
Visualization has the power to turn your dreams into reality. The hardest part of starting and following through on any of your goals is the doubt that lingers in your head. You might want it so much to make it happen, but sometimes it is impossible to overcome the fear of failure and the doubt in your ability. The 3 constant and poisonous questions: “is this time really different?” and “will I really follow through and succeed?” and “am I good enough?” need to be eliminated. One powerful way of dealing with your disbelief is by making it real. Making your ideas visual will help you see them and then you will believe them. Set yourself up for success by expressing your goal visually. Now you can use those post-it notes by placing them everywhere around your house, even in your bathroom! Make that visual board and place your headshot on it. Make a progress chart and give yourself those tiny stars you were given in kindergarten, they really work magic. By creating a tangible and visual cue, you will have constant motivation and inspiration to keep you on track for your goal.
REVIEW AND CELEBRATE
Don’t be lazy with this point for it will work against you. In order for you to make progress and stay on target, you need to know where you truly are. There is no use of lying to yourself. Have a monthly, a weekly, or even a daily review of your actions and see if they bring you closer to your goal. You need to pick the best frequency that will work for you and keep doing it. This is the only time you can use your inner critic to your benefit. Evaluate your progress and determine the barriers that stand in your way, while brainstorming ideas for more productive actions. You have the power to update your goals so they can become even more SMARTER as you progress through the year. Enjoy the review process by celebrating your small successes. All of them. Take that bubble bath, go see that chick flick, and enjoy any of your guilty pleasures because you deserve it. You are on track every time you review your actions and the progress of your goal. As long as you have a plan that you follow and persist with, you will work hard and all your hard work will make this goal successful and worthwhile.
Go ahead! Dream big. You have the tool now that will keep you focused.
If you read this entire 1800 word post, then you are truly determined to do anything it takes to jump over that puddle. Heck, you are now training to be an Olympic Goal Achiever! Your efforts will be rewarded!
I truly believe that your sweat and hard work will always bring you a win-win result.
I would love to hear your own smart goals in the comments below, and it would be even greater if you can post your vision board too!
With all my heart,