“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”
– Alan Kay
As we start the first week of a new year, the great majority of us have at least one goal that we want to accomplish this year. What’s your’s? Can you visualize it? Do you know what it will look like, taste like, feel like? How will you achieve it? Is it bulletproof?
Many of us haven’t gotten that far in our thinking. After all, goal-setting is a lot like New Year’s resolutions, aren’t they?
We start the year with good intentions and within a week or so, they go by the wayside. Some of us stick with them longer, maybe even a couple of months, but after a while they’re gone with the wind and by the time the next year end comes along, only 8% of people have actually accomplished them.
Which group do you fall into?
We know why goals resolutions fail and they all seem to echo the ‘human condition:
- We set lofty expectations for ourselves . (We fail because we don’t often stretch beyond our comfort zone).
- We set goals that are too vague. (We fail because we leave ourselves too much wiggle room).
- We set unrealistic timeframes. (We fail because we crave instant gratification).
- We set goals that are too downright boring. (We fail because we don’t provide the motivation to succeed).
So what can we do about it?
We all start from the same place. We know where we are now. Point A. We know where we want to be. Point B.
But it’s not a straight shot. What about all the stops in between? More than likely, the end result isn’t Point B. In fact, it could very well be Point X or Y or even Z.
What happens in between?
Being successful boils down to setting goals that are achievable.
Here are some tips to get you started:
1.Work backwards. Most people start at the beginning and work their way to the end. But what will the end ‘feel’ like? Visualizing yourself at the endpoint rather than the beginning gives you the advantage of being able to work back step by step to retrace how you got there. What would the rewards be? What will life feel like? On the other hand, what will it feel like if you do not meet your goal? What would the consequences be?
- What obstacles did you meet?
- How did you solve them?1
- What action steps did you take?
2. Make your goals SMART:
3. Practice positive thinking and celebrate the completion of each step. Use affirmations, celebrations, pizza and donuts. Whatever works, provided it’s in line with your ultimate goal.
4. Physically write down what you’ve accomplished or if you already have a list drawn up, cross it off and mark it ‘done.
5. Toot your horn. A pat on the back never hurt anyone.
Setting goals properly can be an innovative and creative experience.
There will always be circumstances. That’s a reality we can’t control. It’s simply part of our daily lives. What we can control are our heads.
My advice to everyone beginning a new chapter is to commit to success despite of circumstances and conditions that may get in your way.
With that mindset, you’ll be more control over your environment, create new realities and open to seeing opportunities to forge ahead and succeed.