Every year, we make resolutions. Right? We spend mental energy to think about how we want to change. We look back at the current year and ask ourselves “What could I have done better?” or “What didn’t I get to accomplish this year?“. From those questions, we begin to form a list of things we want to set out and do or change. Losing weight, saving money, changing your career. All goals many of us set out, not only at the New Year, but throughout the year. So why aren’t we crushing these lists we make? Maybe, we’re going about it all wrong.
What I have noticed, is everyone has this “shoot for the moon and if you fall short you’ll land with the stars” mindset. Who came up with this saying? It is a setup for failure. Look at some of the goals we make at the New Year. Losing 50 pounds. Changing careers. Making twice as much money in the coming year. Woah! Those goals are gigantic, intimidating and just downright silly. How can we meet our goals, when we make them out of our reach? Just the task of creating a goal sets forth a stigma of failure, because many times it’s a goal that wasn’t accomplished the previous year. How do we get around this stigma? We set more obtainable goals and build confidence.
Goals are like milestones. You don’t set a goal with something larger to aim for. No one says “My goal is to be healthy this year” and nothing more. No, you plan to lose weight or eat better. If we make goals the way we set milestones, think about how much more successful we’ll be Being healthier starts with losing 5 pounds. That’s a motivator right there, because then you can set a new goal of 10. You may want to have3-4 months of expenses in the bank for emergencies, but you know what? It will feel amazing when you can simply put $25 in that account that normally says $0.
I have some steps that you can take to set more obtainable goals, which will boost your motivation and you can be part of the few who actually meet your goals this New Year.
What areas do you want to improve?
Think of some areas in your life you want to improve and write them down. A few that I listed are career, faith and health. These should be areas you are passionate about and should come to mind fairly quickly. Remember, we’re not trying to create goals here. We’re simply trying to get an idea about what is important in our lives.
How can you improve these areas?
The next step is to identify 2-3 ways to improve the above. For example, an area I want to improve is my health. To do that, I need to lose some weight and exercise more. That’s it. Even now, we’re not talking about goals, we’re talking about how we can improve what is important in our lives.
How will you take action?
Now, the good part; how can we act upon improving those things that are important in our lives. To keep with my examples, I want to improve my health by losing weight. A goal to lose weight could be 10 pounds. Obtainable. Then, I can consider a new goal of another 10 pounds. Other aspects of your areas to improve may be more involved than that, especially if you’re looking to explore different career fields, or find a long-term relationship, but the idea is the same.
It may seem like a lot when you first write these down. When I went through this process I filled a whole page. The goal isn’t to “lose weight”, but to have something specific that you can reach, like losing 5 pounds. With better goals, aimed for your success instead of your failure, you end up improving yourself in the process, instead of being buried by failed goals and negativity.