Why New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work – 4 Steps To Guarantee Your Best Year Ever.
I hear a lot of hopeful words thrown around this time each year. New, fresh, clean slate, resolution, goals, and change, are just a few. What sets successful people apart from the average person this time each year and consequently for the year to come, is the focus, time, and intentionality that they spend on goal setting. Resolutions don’t stick. If you can name one that you have ever kept for more than 6 months please let me know in the comments. The difference in the processes of making resolutions versus setting goals is minor in regards to effort but is the absolute determining factor for success or failure in the year to come. A New Year’s Resolution requires nothing more than telling a few people that you are going to do something new this year. Setting goals takes an hour or two now, and about 5 minutes each day. Those few hours can yield big results this year.
Let’s talk about the process of goal setting. Most people think setting goals has to be elaborate and consume days of deep thinking and writing to be effective. That will surely lead to an excellent outcome, but for most of us we get lost in the details and fail to complete a lengthy and elaborate process unless a boss at work forces us to do this. I believe in getting pragmatic results. What is the least amount of planning that you can do to almost guarantee success this new year?
Step 1. Make Your Future a Priority To You
If you don’t believe that you have the ability and responsibility to improve your future then unfortunately you are right. If you believe that you are the designer and driver of your success, then you are also right. I hear people say they don’t have time to set or review goals. These are the same people that don’t have time to read books, go on dates with their spouses, or exercise. We do exactly what we want to in life. If you want to make excuses and be lazy, you can. No one is stopping you. If you want to improve, the same is true. The only person that can control your time and what you do is you. Step 1 is to take responsibility for your success by following the next 3 steps.
Step 2. Write Down Your Problems And Unmet Goals
Grab a piece of paper right now before you continue reading. Yes, that means you too. Getting a start right now is the only guarantee that you will actually take the next step. Write down all of the bad things in your life that keep you from being happy or that you know you need to change. Also, write down big dreams that you really want to tackle and accomplish. Don’t worry if you ramble or if you have to brainstorm or make lists. The goal is to get your shortcomings and big ideas on paper. These ideas could be about family, work, school, business, relationships, money, health, etc. This is your chance to get everything down in one place. Once you have completed this, then Step 2 is complete.
Step 3. Write Down Solutions
Flip your paper over and draw a line in the middle. On one side, write down a list of actions you could take or habits you could master that would fix the problems or help you reach your dreams from the other side. Write as many as you would like. Be specific and include deadlines. Don’t worry about being able to accomplish all of these this year. Think big. If you had a magic wand, what would you be able to accomplish? Next, circle the things that are truly important to you to do. In order to follow through this will need to only be the things that you value and have a great desire to follow through on. Now, on the other side of the line, write down the items that you have circled and leave space underneath each item. These are your goals. Under each goal, brainstorm the practical steps that you must take to reach this goal. Refine these steps and make sure they are specific and measurable. When these steps are in place under each goal, then you have completed Step 3.
Step 4. Write Your Goals Down Everyday – Day 1
In order to stay focused on accomplishing your goals, you must look at and take action toward them every single day of the year. Not just on Monday morning, once a month or quarter, or whenever you see them in your drawer, or on your bathroom mirror. Step 4 requires you to grab a notebook and transfer your goal list with all steps to achieve them onto the first page. You will do this again every single day of the year. You can use the same page to write them multiple times. The purpose is not to have a pretty notebook or info to look back on. The purpose is to visually read, write, and ponder your goals and action steps every single day. Does this sound like too much unnecessary work? A recent Harvard University study showed that only 3% of their MBA students have written goals. Only 13% have goals in their head that they haven’t written down. That means 84% of Harvard MBA students have not set goals at all. The 13% who have unwritten goals make, on average, double what the 84% of people with no goals make. Think that’s a good return? The 3% who have written goals and re-write them regularly earn 10 times more than the 97% of people who don’t write down their goals. It pays to write them down and think about them every single day. Forever. Read more about the Harvard Study here
If one of your goals is to grow your business this year, reach out to one of our team members. We make businesses famous, findable, and more profitable with our billboards and internet marketing services. We would love to sit down and talk. Happy New Year!
Brad Mizer, President