Don’t make New Year resolutions, set GOALS instead

New Year Resolutions don’t work FULL STOP.

Correction – they may work for a while as you bask in the euphoria of having something to look forward to. However, 9 times out of 10, by mid to late February that New Year resolution has lost its puff having been replaced by the busyness of life.

Yet every year you still make those resolutions. Every year you promise yourself that you will start this thing or stop that other thing, you will do this or not do that, and on it goes. Come the end of the year, you reflect back and realize that you have to make the same resolutions you made last year because nothing has changed.

Enough already! It’s time to do things differently. Starting today you are going to stop making resolutions and start setting goals instead. Here is how:

Step 1 – Start with the end in mind. Clearly imagine what you want to achieve by the end of the year. What is your big dream for the year in each area of your life – health, finances, career, relationships, family, education and community? These are what you want to HAVE by the end of the year.

Then write your goals imagining that it is the end of the year and you are reviewing what you have achieved.

For example, a weight loss goal may go something like this…

”It is now 31st December 2016 and my health is great. I have lost 10 kilograms and now have a BMI of 19. I consistently exercise 5 times a week, drink 8 glasses of water daily and have 2 check-ins with my personal trainer/coach every week.”

Do this for each critical area of your life. Make sure you have at least one goal for each area. Remember to make your goals SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound).

Step 2 – Now that you know what you want to HAVE, you need to determine who you need to BE to achieve these goals. Ask yourself what Qualities, Skills and Habits a person needs to have to achieve the goals you have set for yourself.

It might be something like…I need to be someone who:

  • knows the caloric content of different foods
  • wakes up early each morning to exercise
  • watches only 1 hour of TV to free up time to learn something new
  • builds relationships with leaders in their field
  • embraces uncertainty

As you figure out what your specific ones are, make sure they are aligned to your goals. These become the resources you will require to help you achieve your goals and will be handy in the next step.

Step 3 – List the things you will DO to achieve your goals. For each of your goals list the step-by-step daily, weekly or monthly process to achieve them. You can categorise them as START, MAINTAIN and STOP activities. Or you may prefer a sequential list of activities to get you to your goal.

Step 4 – Schedule your goals into the 4 quarters of the year. You should have some goals to be completed in Q1, others in Q2, another set in Q3 and a few in Q4. Set a specific completion date for each goal and schedule the dates in your diary. This will keep you focused and accountable.

Do these 4 steps and review your progress at the end of every week, month and quarter.

You will be surprised by what you can achieve in one year, what you will learn in the process and the confidence you will have in your ability to achieve any desired outcome.

This method sure beats having to make the same resolution year after year. So go ahead and just do it. You can always contact me if you need help –

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