New Year’s resolutions start out as something you want to change about your life. And the beginning of a new year is the most logical time to set goals.
How many times have you heard the statement “a new year, a new you!”? If only it were that simple. If only you could transform your life in an instant. So you begin the year with good intentions and lots of energy for change. And then life happens. Reality sets in. And what started out as a New Year’s goal embarks on the slippery slope to the “I tried it once but it didn’t work out” discard pile. Or better yet, that resolution gets demoted to your bucket list instead of promoted your list of accomplishments.
Let’s face it. With only 8% of New Year’s goal setters actually achieving their goals, New Year’s resolutions do not have the best track record. The next four weeks will test your drive and commitment to achieving those goals.
In this post, I’d like to show 7 ways to bridge the gap between day-to-day and the goals you want to achieve.
1. Reexamine your big goals. Long-term goals contain valuable insights about you that can keep you on the track to achievement…even if you’re still working at them. Look for deeper meaning in the things that are important to you. These long range goals hold valuable info about your personal values and unique experiences. You can use these to maximize commitment to reaching your goals.
2. Stop setting goals! Stop…right…now. Don’t you dare set another resolution you’re not committed to. Yeah it sounds good that you want to hit the gym and lose 10 pounds in 2016. It’s not your goal that’s going to keep you on track. It’s your creativity when it comes to getting around the things that will derail your goals. You know. Things like vanilla ice cream and that Venti fru-fru drink at Starbucks. (Now don’t get me wrong, I love my Venti White Chocolate Mocha…but I also know that it takes me in the opposite direction of a Chippendale figure!) Before you set your sights on that lofty ambition, figure out how you’re going to get around the temptations to give up.
3. Prepare for battle. Did you know that goal setting and strategy originate with military operations? The objective is to outwit the enemy and win the battle. If you can win the right battles, you win the war. You have to think about your achievement as a battle. You’re coming up with a plan to win against the things the come against your goal. I call them derailers because they throw my goals off track when I don’t plan for them. Let’s face it. The majority of New Years goals don’t get achieved. Heck, most of them don’t last 21 days. But if you can see what can throw you off track ahead of time, you’re in a better position once you leave the starting block. That takes keen insight, and an outside perspective usually helps too.
4. Take a long deep look inside. “I love food!” Those words came out of my client Lee’s mouth when I asked him about derailers for his exercise plan. So I asked “what does food mean to you?” He began to unpack and saw that food is tied to accomplishment. Lee works on a lot of long-term projects. At the end of the day, he wants to feel that he completed something. So we came up with alternative ways for him to accomplish small things and it has worked. Food was a symbol for accomplishment that was throwing his whole operation off track. It reflected Lee’s personal value of accomplishment. So he started a new habit that lead to healthier outcome. He picked up an old hobby of fixing things. The car window, the broken sink, and Lee even started fixing things for his neighbors. And at the end of the day, he had that sense of short-term achievement he was going for.
5. Apply the secret sauce of goal accomplishment. Shift from goal-setting to setting priority strategies. All of my clients have either attended goals setting workshops or have some experience working with goals. Goal setting is no secret. The secret is in how to turn the negatives into positives and obstacles into opportunities. That is beyond the scope of this post. You can schedule a coaching preview to start working through the secrets of turning your derailers into accelerators.
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6. Get an accountability partner. Goals are more fun and less stressful to reach when you involve other people – the right people. You need someone on your side can support and challenge you as you work towards when you want .
7. Know what’s in your back pocket. We’re all busy. And you know by now that your day to day life is not going to welcome your goals with open arms. In fact current work, life and family situations will probably come into direct conflict with your resolutions. Think about when someone stresses you out and you start thinking of ways to handle it. Your goal is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. Having a contingency plan in your back pocket is a must.
Thomas E. Anderson, II is a vision development coach who enjoys motivating and equipping individuals to pursue personal, professional and organizational goals that lead to a more fulfilling life. He specializes in life focus, vision development and goal acceleration. For more information visit www.teaiiano.com.