Have you heard the depressing statistics? Almost half of Americans will bravely make a resolution, and 80% of those who do will give up before Valentine’s Day.
Who are the lucky 20%? According to Psychology Today, “Achieving New Year's resolutions is not a matter of luck. It’s a goal-setting skill that everyone can accomplish.”
You need to set the right goal at the right time, for you. Make a minimum of three appointments with yourself to evaluate your present, consider your future, and determine your “why?” Log them in your calendar, and choose something specific ahead of time as a reward for not canceling.
The Dreaded "G" Word
Reams of data exist on how to set goals, yet many people do it wrong or don’t set them at all. Try taking a new look at an old recommendation. Carve out time to spend with yourself getting to know what you want. Think of it as your own one-on-one without your manager or a form to sign. This is just you getting real.
Steps 1-3: Where You're At
- You’re the most important person on your career path, so forget about your significant other’s hopes or your parents’ dreams. Set a timer and brainstorm. Ask yourself what you want more of, less of, the most—and write down your answers.
- Make a list of the things you do in your job every day, and then make a list of the things that you enjoy. Now compare the two lists
- Evaluate your present skill set, strengths and weaknesses. Are you great at training, crunching numbers, evaluating people? Where could you use immediate improvement?
Steps 4-6: Where You're Going
Get comfortable imagining your future. According to Slate “Curiosity about what might happen in the future, the ability to imagine how things could be different, and empathy for our future selves are all necessary if we want to create change in our own lives or the world around us.”
But you can’t stop at creating pretty pictures in your head. Your second appointment with yourself is to look forward. Get serious and predict your future.
- It’s three years from now (one year may not be enough time, five years may be too long), where are you working? What are you wearing? How much are you earning? Envision your title and even your office. Write down what you see using plenty of adjectives.
- Work backwards from this image. What does the path look like from where you are now to your dream destination?
- If you’re off course, identify and list the steps needed to get you on the right track.
Steps 7-9: The Crucial Question - Why?
Enjoying your free time means you do what you love with people you enjoy, in a way that brings about a desired reaction of laughter, exhilaration, physical release, or mental stimulation.
Work should provide the same things. Goals tied to passion, curiosity, or with personal significance inspire dedication.
- To make true change in the New Year start by identifying your core values.
- Think about the type of person you want to be. What can you change to move you closer to that picture? Once you have the image, it will be easier to outline meaningful action to move you closer to your personal ideal.
- Ask yourself what motivates you, and be honest about the answer. Is it money, recognition, personal challenge? Know what works for you.
Action is the Objective
Now that you’ve laid the ground work, you’re ready to set achievable goals that stretch you and have a real chance to impact your life in a positive way. All the familiar advice still applies. Yes, goals should be measurable and they should have a time factor, etc. But apply the following guidelines, and your chances for success instantly go up:
- Take a SMALL step and build on your success.
- Edit your story, but first write down what isn’t working. Acknowledge where you’ve been inconsistent in the past. Then write a new story.
- Give yourself a deadline, followed by a reward.
Click here for more tips and resources from Advanced Resources to help make 2019 the year you crush all your goals.
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