31 Dec New Years Resolutions? Don’t bother!
For some, the start of another year brings about an urgency to make changes and to start new things. “This year, I want to spend more time with friends, start jogging, grow my business, get on with my boss, lose a few kilos or find a new job. All worthy and legitimate New Year’s resolutions. However, as is the case for most of us, within a couple of weeks, you are back at work, back to your usual routine and you have completely forgotten about them.
Why do we choose the first day of the year to set resolutions and goals? Why not the beginning of February, or March? What is this craziness about?
When we set New Year’s resolution without real investigation of what we really want, we are not backing ourselves to be successful.
For most people, setting new years resolution is a reaction to something that you feel you should be doing. There’s no preparation, or questioning of what is possible. When the first of January comes around, it’s not an ‘on your marks get ready … let’s go’. Most people, don’t sit down and think about what they want, they just choose the first thing that comes to mind.
I say … rather than react, be proactive and give yourself the best chance possible to succeed. After all setting New Year’s resolutions and not achieving them, reinforces that you can’t have what you want. When you let yourself down, over and over again, you chip away at your confidence and your self-esteem. Before you know it, you’ve given up, and you feel like a failure. Not a great way to start the year.
So, to get you back on track, here are a few tips that might help you:
1. Don’t feel pressure to set goals at the start of the year because it’s something you ‘should’ be doing. Be proactive, allocate some quiet time in late January to reflect on what you want, when you feel focused, energised and motivated.
2. Make sure that your goal is specific. Write down precisely what it is that you want to achieve. Saying you ‘want to get fit’ is not specific enough. Does that mean you would like to join a gym, be able to run around the block without passing out? Or do you want to lose 10 kilos in the next 5 months?
3. Your goal must be measurable, you must be able to count, or mark the outcome in some way. If it’s measurable, you’ll know if you’re on track. If it’s not, you’ll have no idea if you are moving closer to your goal or further away. Something like “I have had two holidays by the end of the year” or “For the month of June 2020, I invoiced $15,000”, are both measurable.
4. Is it attractive? The more attractive and excited you by your goal, the more motivated and determined you will be to succeed. Seeing yourself in New York for Christmas, or with a beautiful new car or even harvesting your winter veggie crop, the stronger the desire, the more motivated you will be to move into action.
5. Be realistic. Is it realistic to set a goal that says you would like to go on an overseas holiday in March when you have little money in the bank, or your ailing parents are struggling? Is it realistic to set a goal that you would like to be a professional golfer when you have little time to practise?
Your goal needs to be a bit of a stretch but not to the point of being unrealistic, again … unrealistic goals set us up for failure and demotivate.
6. Have a timeline. You need to be able to anchor your goal in a time frame. Every goal must have a completion date attached. Dates commit intentions; they target the time frame for the goal and prevent it from withering away into infinity. If you are having difficulty with this, work on your goals with a friend to support each other.
7. Your goal needs to be stated in the current tense as if it’s already a reality. So try this, “It’s New Year 2019, I am in New York, celebrating my birthday, surrounded by my friends” See how it’s stated as if it’s happening right now?
Building your confidence comes from setting achievable and realistic goals. Giving yourself every chance to succeed is about preparation and commitment.
If you’ve taken the time to write down your goals, broken them into achievable steps and given each step a timeframe, then this will provide you with the edge, to be successful.
If you commit to doing the work upfront, you WILL enjoy the success that you deserve.
I look forward to hearing about your fantastic adventures.