At the start of every New Year, we inevitably see the pile-on of impossible pledges. They are intended to make us better, stronger, smarter and a host of other admirable traits. Unfortunately, while they are often worthy, they are also so huge and vague that they are near impossible to achieve. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for self-improvement, but there are successful approaches and then there are the 80% of failed New Year's resolutions.
Setting goals is awesome, but if you want to succeed you have to be strategic. Making lofty commitments that require you to make immediate and massive life changes, is not being strategic. If you want to get in shape and your habits are more likely to find you in bed with a good book, then don’t assume that your New Year’s pledge will suddenly make you want to rise with a smile and head to the gym early every morning. Even if you did pull it off a few times (shudder) you are more likely to fall back into your bedtime routine at the first opportunity you get. Stats tell us that’s right around January 12th.
Here’s some advice on making these new year’s resolutions successful. Don’t make them. Yup, don’t waste a lot of time and effort making impossible resolutions that you will later feel guilty about not fulfilling. Worse still, don’t make pledges about things that will inevitably make you feel like a failure later. That's a horrible way to start the year.
If you want to pull into December 2020 and feel like the hero of your own epic saga, be smart or rather, set SMART goals. SMART goals require reflection and careful thought and they generally can’t be captured with a champagne toast. SMART goals are:
Specific Measurable Achievable or actionable Realistic and Time-based
This doesn’t mean setting the most uninspiring goals ever thought of, but being disciplined and clear about what you want and when you want it. When goals are huge they are also vague and that can make it hard to determine what you should do or where you should even start. Be specific about what you want to achieve and set a plan in motion including a timeline that tells you how you will get there. This also means setting clear targets so that you can measure your progress and adjust as required as time passes. Aside from having clear parameters and a clear deadline, the most successful goals are also based in reality. No one gets up and just runs a marathon, they start with one step and go from there.
Download the T60 Goal Setting Worksheet by clicking HERE