"The greatest power we have is the power of choice. It’s an actual fact that if you’ve been moping in unhappiness, you can choose to be joyous instead and, by effort, lift yourself into joy. If you tend to be fearful, you can overcome that misery by choosing to have courage. Even in darkest grief you have a choice – The whole trend and quality of anyone’s life is determined in the long run by the choices that are made." Norman Vincent Peale
If you are anything like the majority of people you either didn’t set yourself any New Year’s Resolutions, knowing you wouldn’t keep them if you did, or you have already broken most or all the ones you did set.
It doesn’t have to be this way! It is perfectly possible to create Resolutions that you DO keep. And you don’t have to restrict yourself to doing so just on New Year’s Day.
The first thing you must do when setting goals (for that is really what Resolutions are) is to prepare yourself for success in advance. By following this advice you will actually enjoy the process of setting goals and achieving them.
One of the first things you should do when setting a new goal is to not make it an "all or nothing" goal. Instead of having only the options of "success" or "failure" create your goal so that it is setting you up to succeed. One way to do this is by creating smaller goals along the way. As you reach each one you will feel good about it and be motivated to continue. And having reached that "mini goal" you can congratulate yourself that you HAVE kept a resolution!
Track your progress towards your goals. By tracking your progress you can celebrate your successes. You can also identify your weak areas and spend more time working on them. To track your goals you can use something as simple as a basic spread sheet and then record your progress. Some people prefer to track weekly while other prefer to use a daily tracking system.
Set yourself a monthly, weekly or daily target that you can achieve. This could be something such as reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke or not having that beer after work each night. As you meet each small goal you are again setting yourself up for continued success, rather than simply having a goal of "I will stop smoking" or "I will stop drinking".
For goals that have numbers (often business related goals) set minimum numbers as targets as opposed to maximum numbers. By all means have those higher targets as an aspiration, but be ready to congratulate yourself just for achieving the minimum. Congratulate yourself and feel good about yourself – that will lead to even greater success.
Setting appropriate goals will help you set up for success. Don’t set a goal for something that you already do on a regular basis. A new goal should be based around something that you are not good at (or at least haven’t tried yet), or one that could be classified as a bad habit.
Always be ready to ask for help in achieving your goals. At work if you are not good at something see if there is help available. Or is it possible to get this task delegated to someone else? Look for options when it comes to setting goals, especially for those tasks that you really don’t like doing.
Plan out a method for reaching your goal before you even start working on it. The majority of people who just decide on a goal will fail without having a good plan of action in place first.
Even if you are not sure of all the steps just start outlining your first one or two steps. As you begin your journey you may identify other steps that are required for you to be successful. Simply add these into your plan of action.
One good way to create a plan of action is to look at your goal in reverse. Think about how you might have arrived there and write down the steps. It is often easier to think in reverse when it comes to goal planning!
A great example of this is having a goal of owning your first home. The last thing you do is sign the deal and pay for the house. So consider how you raise the money for your home, how you choose your location and so on. As you create your list backwards you have just completed a plan of actionable steps.
If you plan on creating new goals then recording your goals will help you with your next goal. You will have a plan in place that you can follow to a certain extent. More importantly though, your recording of your first plan will highlight any problem areas you had. You will be more aware of them this time around and will know how to deal with them.
Follow these steps and there is no reason at all why you should not be very successful this year!
If you would like even more help in setting and reaching your goals, try my program "Resolution Revolution", which you can access here:
"People who say that life is not worthwhile are really saying that they themselves have no personal goals which are worthwhile… Get yourself a goal worth working for. Better still, get yourself a project… Always have something ahead of you to ‘look forward to’ – work for and hope for." Maxwell Maltz 1899-1975
Gray Lawrence Ambitious & Successful Networker
Life is The Sum of All Our Choices – Albert Camus