New Year's blog written for client's LinkedIn blog
Every year on the first day or week, you remind yourself of a few resolutions you’ve set for the year ahead. Then, twelve months later you look back and realize you didn’t achieve half of them, if any. If you are achieving your resolutions, then I applaud you, but most people aren’t. Why is that? Intention without goal setting is nowhere near as effective, it’s just a piece of the pie.
So, why don’t resolutions work? Firstly, some resolutions are just not achievable in a year’s time. If you woke up January 1st in your rental apartment and pushed aside all your unpaid bills thinking this is the year you resolve to become a millionaire, it’s highly unlikely that is something you will achieve. Stranger things have happened, but giving yourself a resolution like that is unrealistic and highly time constrained. You will only disappoint yourself at the end of the year. However, if you sit down and make a solid, realistic plan for a seemingly outlandish resolution over the next five years, it may not be so ridiculous at all.
Another reason resolutions don’t often work is that many people go it alone. If your end game is worth aiming for, you need a team on your side. People who know what you need to do and will help you do it. If your goal is to lose weight and you don’t at least buy an exercise DVD or book, you still might, but the speed at which you achieve your goal will be much slower. Ideally, you can afford to buy a gym membership or hire a personal trainer. I personally use the services of a personal trainer, Andrea Portillo, and attend many fitness classes in a week. I know that fitness is not my expertise, so I sought out help. Andrea keeps me motivated and checks in with other aspects, such as my diet, on a regular basis. If you can’t afford a trainer, ask a friend or your partner to check in. They will keep you honest. If your goal is more business oriented or a work goal, ask a colleague to check in. It’s all about accountability.
Resolutions are such a generalized, year-encompassing thing to make. I much prefer to set goals with realistic deadlines. The next time you write a goal down, make sure you have all these criteria in place.
The goal is realistic
The goal is specific
The deadline given is realistic
You tell someone about the goal
You have a way to remind yourself regularly of your goal
You have a plan to help you achieve this goal, as well as a person or team to help you with it
“I will sell a minimum of ____ homes by May 31, 2015.”
“I will lose a minimum of ___ pounds by March 31, 2015.”
Notice how these example goals do not span to the end of the year? It is better to break them down and make them more manageable. This goal setting method allows you to check-in with your progress and ask the following important questions if you did not achieve your goal.
Was my goal realistic? If yes, then why did I not achieve my goal?
What can I change about this circumstance?
Is there someone I can speak to or hire to help me reach my new goal?
Resolve this year never to make another resolution! Instead, set specific, realistic goals that you will check on throughout your year. If you can manage it, I assure you at the end of the year you will be amazed at the results.
What are some of your goals for 2015?