Is it me or is this year FLYING by? Like most people, you probably took inventory in January and made your goal plan for the year. Yet, the experts say that 30 percent of the people who make New Year’s resolutions have given up by Feb. 1 and over half will concede defeat by July.
Why does this happen? It happens because a resolution, by definition, is simply the expression of an opinion, will or intent. It is not a goal. Resolutions also tend to be very vague. Example: “This year I resolve that I will get a better job” or “This year I resolve to be a better person.” Let me give you an analogy. In some ways, a resolution is like the canvas of a tent, while the goals are like the poles and stakes. You can’t expect to raise a tent without the poles and stakes to support it. Likewise, you can’t expect to fulfill on a resolution without having a goal plan to support it.
Using the tent analogy, those that are truly successful in raising a tent have probably also reviewed a list of instructions that told them in what order to complete specific tasks. In our resolutions and goals example, this would be the goal plan. It is the roadmap that will tell you what needs to be done and when to do it to achieve your goals and fulfill your resolutions. The resolution can be thought of as a wishful thinking result. A goal entails detailed steps to complete.
Use this five-step process and you can beat the odds and achieve the success you deserve!
1. Analyze Your Path
Think about what is most important to you. Look at where you are today and determine where it is you want to go. If your plan doesn’t have an end result, how will you know you have arrived?
2. Identify Key Objectives
Rank-order them by what you consider most important. Limit yourself to no more than three (Five if you must). This is your “To-do List.”
3. Create You Goal Plan
Now that you know WHAT you need to accomplish, you need to figure HOW you are going to attain success. I recommend the “S.M.A.R.T.” goal setting method:
Resolution: I will lose weight this year.
Key Objectives: 1. Eat Less 2. Exercise More
SMART Goal: I will walk for 30 minutes three times a week beginning on February 1 and pack my lunches for work at least four days a week.
4. Prioritize Your Plan
This is where you say, “Here’s the order that I plan to do them in.” Focus on the easiest things that will produce the biggest results. By seeing fast results, you are more likely to remain motivated. Little wins can really add up!
5. Implement Your Plan
This is where you say, “Here’s how I will put my plan into practice.” Then do it! This should include a regular review and celebration process. Weekly is best but no less than monthly. Reward yourself when you do well!
Now you can create a solid plan to tackle the many resolutions you’ve set for yourself. Only this year, you are actually going to accomplish them! Be sure to share your plans with others so they can help motivate and challenge you. Trust me, it will help keep you on the straight and narrow!