Every year I meet people who make New Year’s resolutions just to set themselves up for disappointment a couple of months down the road. Nothing ever comes true for them, no matter how hard they try. Are they setting themselves up for failure? Should they stop setting goals altogether? Why should this year be different than all the other years that had no tangible results?
I find it fascinating to study the differences between successful goal setters and those who keep wishing upon a star year after year. This post is for you if you’re looking to make 2015 your best year yet.
1. Forget the resolutions, set the goals
There’s a major difference between a resolution and a goal. A resolution is like a wish; I will start eating healthy. I will stop putting people down. I will spend more time with my family. But a couple of weeks down the road you’re still working long hours, eating crap and looking down at others.
- Goals are specific and define very clearly what exactly you mean – I will eat 2 portions of veggies every day. I will say something positive to at least 2 people every day. I will spend 1 hour with my family without any distractions each day. What do you want to achieve?
- Goals have deadlines – I will write a book by the end of August. When do you want to achieve it by?
- Goals break down into Action Plans – I will write 3 pages six days a week. How are you going to achieve it?
2. Define the consequences
It’s good to have goals and action plans, but unless you understand what happens if you achieve or don’t achieve your goal, you won’t be motivated enough to go after it. There are 2 things that can happen when it comes to goals:
- When you achieve a goal, you will WIN something. Goals have meaning. We don’t eat healthy because we enjoy it, we eat healthy, because we want good health. We spend time with family not because we have nothing else to do with our time, but because we want to grow the relationships with those close to us. There’s a WIN behind the goal. You will become a better person. Or maybe you will get closer to your dream. What is YOUR win?
- When you don’t achieve a goal, you will LOSE something. Logically, you will lose your WIN, whatever that is for you. But in addition to that, you will also lose faith in yourself and your ability to make things happen. Have you noticed that people who keep missing one goal after another are disappointed, disillusioned and cynical. There are many out there who believe that nothing will change unless they make things happen. I disagree. Life is change. Whether you make things happen or not, things shift. Think about the lives that could have been influenced if you said or did something different. Think about the situations that would have been different if you decided to invest your money differently. Look up and see the big picture. You and I are making decisions daily that can either put things in motion or stop the motion. What will be your loss?
Things happen when you WANT them to happen
You might know that I lost 30 pounds in 2014. I started out with this goal in January, but I didn’t take action until June. It wasn’t until then that I had a goal, a deadline and a plan.
What changed in June was that I understood the consequences. If I kept eating the way I was, I couldn’t lose weight. And I was most likely going to end up with some sort of disease pretty soon.
My other option was to make the changes necessary, build a healthy lifestyle and be there to see my children grow up. It was big enough reason for me.
Remember…The choices we make today affect our future tomorrow. Click To Tweet
3. Just do it
You could have the best goal, the most wonderful plan and reasons to die for. But unless you take action, nothing will change. Thinking about healthy food didn’t help me lose weight. Eating healthy did. Thinking about this blog post didn’t help me share these ideas with you. It took physical activity to do so. It’s not enough to set your mind to it, you must actually make it happen.
Then you must stick to it. Do NOT give up when you face your first problem. Problems are meant to be overcome not avoided. Problems are meant to make you stronger, not a quitter.
It’s as simple as 1,2,3. Set a goal, define the consequences, then go ahead and make it happen.
Now let’s review and tweak your plan and step into a successful year!
Wishing you and yours only the best!
PS: Are you looking for more tips to improve your productivity and efficiency? Check out our Planning For Success, the ultimate guide to planning and goal setting.