Made some New Year’s Resolutions? I wish I believed in them. To me, they are a source of guilt. The statistics indicate halfway through the year, only 46% of people are still working towards their New Year’s Resolution. What if we consider New Year’s resolutions as goal setting?
I was reminded of this when our family watched the new Peanuts special, For Auld Lang Syne, this weekend. Charlie Brown was trying to get one of his many resolutions done before the New Year happened. Concerned it wouldn’t happen, he went to Lucy for some advice. She discovers that his New Year’s Resolution list had things that were too hard to do. She helped him simplify his goals and he managed to get one done just in time.
I see a New Year’s Resolution as an intention, which is a great start. That’s where New Year’s Resolutions come in handy—they get us thinking about the possibilities. Goal-setting increases the chances of success.
I love goal-setting; it’s when my dreams become reality. Each quarter I do goal-setting, so I don’t get too fussed about New Year’s Resolutions. Three months allows growth.
A lot can happen in a year; many things are beyond our control. So, I set intentions for the year and get very specific about my goals for the next ninety days.
I like to reflect on the past year, celebrate the wins, and ponder the upcoming year. Then, I pick a theme for the year.
When I set goals there are four key areas:
- Personal – What am I going to learn or explore?
- Family – What are we going to work towards as a family?
- Business – How will we achieve our company vision?
- Community – What is most important for serving the communities of which I am a part?
Whether you call it a New Year’s Resolution or a goal the way to be successful is the same.
Consider these five questions when choosing your next goal or resolution:
- Why do you want to do this goal? Uncover the motivation and you’ll discover the reward you’re after when you accomplish your goal. The more specific you are the better.
- How will you know you are successful? What is the outcome you’d like to see? This will keep you going on the tough days.
- What is the simplest way to achieve your goal? Pick one goal at a time and break it down into three to five steps.
- By what date do you want to complete your goal? Does it need a year to be done? Or are you changing behaviour that will them become a lifestyle change?
- Who can help you stay accountable? When you share your goals with another person your chances of completion increase.
Once you set your goals, here are three tips to maintain them:
1. Pick an accountability buddy. I have accountability partners with my mentors, coaches, and masterminds. This is how I achieve my goals faster than I expected.
- Surround yourself with others who inspire you to be better, to keep at it, to face your fears, to encourage you to keep going. When you go off track, first be kind in your thoughts, and then reflect on why that happened.
2. Create time blocks on your calendar. Create space and time to work towards your goal.
- Put everything in your calendar—the work stuff, the rituals, the fun time, the family time, business goals, and your time to work on your goals. If you don’t plan time to do it, it’s not going to happen.
3. Review your routines and adapt them. Routines need to suit where you are going and who you want to become.
- When you meet resistance, it may be an opportunity to learn something new or let the routine go if it isn’t serving you anymore.
Expect some hiccups along the way.
“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” – Albert Einstein
Enjoy trying something new—you may surprise yourself with your accomplishments. Even better if you have some fun along the way too!