by Dr. John J. Franey, CEO/Founder of Developing Difference Makers
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New Year’s Day brings on the season of goal setting and resolutions. It is the time of the year where we all jump back on the hamster wheel of personal goals that we have been on year after year. Once on the wheel, we begin to review the previous year, we dust off the old January 1st, 2015 resolutions and we get frustrated when we didn’t achieve the goals we set 365 days earlier. With this frustration setting in, we set off on New Year’s Day to set new resolutions to make our lives better. The problem is that these goals are the hamster wheel as we often set the exact same goals we have set for several years, but never quite achieve. We want to lose weight, get healthier, spend more time with our loved ones, get that promotion, start that business, and make more money. We set huge goals with the right thoughts in mind, but we don’t set ourselves up for success and instead continue to run around the exact same hamster wheel year after year.
Are you tired yet of that hamster wheel? Are you tired of doing the same thing over and over again and never getting a different result? If yes, then in 2016, let’s ditch that hamster wheel and your goal setting strategy that rarely works. Lose the frustration over not achieving these goals and get in the mindset of “I am going to do things differently this year.” There are several very effective strategies for setting new resolutions that can actually have you be excited rather than frustrated at the end of 2016. For resolution success this year, try these 6 strategies:
Set 3 big goals for the year: Setting too many goals for the year will make it too hard to focus and too easy to not take the goals seriously. If we only set one goal for the year we will place way too much pressure on ourselves to achieve it because all of our eggs are in one basket. The best number of goals for the year is three because it allows for focus and some level of success even if we don’t achieve all of the goals.
Set 1 physical goal, 1 performance goal, and 1 personal goal: The physical goal should be focused on health or wellness whether it is exercising more, losing weight, or eating healthier. The performance goal should center on our career or workplace in terms of getting a certain promotion, selling a certain amount of product, or finishing that book we have been writing for 10 years. The personal goal should focus on making ourselves better in areas of our personality or demeanor that we can change such as reconnecting with old friends or spending more time to our loved ones.
Make all goals quantifiable: Goals such as “Working out more,” “Lose weight,” or “Be nicer to people,” are simply not going to work because we can’t quantify them. At the end of the year, how are we going to know if we achieved these goals? Instead our goals should focus on specific numbers that can be achieved, such as “I will lose 20 lbs,” “I will exercise 5 days per week,” or “I will make 10 improvements to my home.” Goals that have a quantifiable number will allow us to track progress along the way and realize success at the end of the year
Write out goals and place them in places we see every day: Writing out our goals on a physical piece of paper makes the goals real. Placing these goals out in places we will see regularly provides us opportunities to continue to focus on the goals throughout the year. Thinking them up in our head or putting them into our phone will not provide the foundation for success because we will forget about them. By putting them on our bathroom mirror, on our computer at work, or on the dash of our car will serve as a reminder of what we need to do every day to achieve success in these goals.
Develop a road map of smaller goals for each of the big goals: For each of the three major goals, we need to set up a road map of smaller accomplishments throughout the year. These smaller goals should be set up in a way that if we achieve them we will be taking one step closer to the overall goal. If we are trying to lose 20 lbs this year, then we should set smaller goals of working out 5 days per week or losing 3 lbs every month. Set up a road map that you can check smaller goals off when they are achieved. The smaller goals will not only help us to continue to make progress, but will allow us to achieve success along the way which will make us feel good about ourselves and keep us working towards the overall goal.
Share your goals with others who can help you: This is always a tough one because we are afraid of sharing our goals with others because they will hold us accountable when we aren’t achieving them. We worry that they will be upset at us or will criticize us if we aren’t making good decisions or actions to achieve these goals. However, by letting others know our goals then they can help us achieve the goals because they can celebrate with us when we reach smaller goals and they can help us make good decisions along the way. And no, we don’t need to let all of our Facebook friends our goals for the year, but rather let a small group of close friends, family members, or colleagues know so that we can all work together towards success.
With these 6 strategies in hand, we can all ditch the hamster wheel of the same old resolution being spun around year after year. We can actually make progress, feel better about ourselves, and achieve success! Say goodbye hamster wheel, we are getting on the road to success!