The new year is fast approaching and it got me to thinking about why most people who set new years resolutions fail miserably at them and what to do about it. One of the issues I see with them is that they often come from a place of guilt or regret. While these traits can give a burst of motivation towards change, they also tend to lose steam real quick.
That’s why I stopped making new years resolutions at all. Instead, I started making plans. A plan is something that you write down and then get clear about what you need to do to achieve it. You can even involve others in your plan if they want to be a part of it to help make it happen easier and faster.
So what should you put in your plan? I like to keep it real simple – just have just one main goal per area of your life.
The 5 areas that I set goals in include:
1. Health and Fitness
2. Finance and Career
3. Friends and Family
4. Fun and Recreation
5. Personal Development and Happiness
Now, you can add in more areas or break these areas up into individual sections if you want but at least it gives you an idea of where to start. Here’s a sample of how your plan for the next year could look:
- Health: Eat organic fruit and vegetables daily and follow an ‘alkaline’ diet – January
- Fitness: Workout at the gym for 30 minutes per day, five days a week. Due date – January
- Finance and Career: Write and Publish A Best Selling Book on Amazon. Due date – November
- Friends and Family: Spend at least 1 hour per day of quality time with friends and family. Due date – January
- Fun and Recreation: Learn to play the electric guitar. Due date – June
- Personal Development: Listen to 30 minutes of I Love Marketing podcast a day. Due date – January
- Happiness: Meditate for 30 minutes per day. Due date – January
Now, this is just a sample list but i think you get the gist of how it works. If you notice some of them on this list I have down as due in Jjanuary. That’s because they are goals that I want to work on straight away and not leave for some imaginary point in the future.
S.M.A.R.T Goal Setting
The next step is to set just one goal per area above for the next year. You can set more if you want, but they will be your secondary goals and have a lower level of importance. The key here is to identify what is your most burning desire in each of the main areas of your life.
The biggest challenge most people face when setting goals is simply setting to many goals. This leads to feeling overwhelmed from the start and usually leads to giving up on them relatively quickly.
I have always found achieving goals quite easy and I’m going to share with you right now my best kept secrets for becoming a goal achieving superstar. If you follow this system of setting goals you’ll accelerate your personal and business success tenfold.
Secret #1 – Write down you goal
Just the simple act of writing down a goal increases the chances of turning it into reality and achieving it by over 40%! How does this happen? Because writing it down reinforces your goal internally and gives it a higher degree of committment and importance than just speaking it or thinking it.
Secret #2 – Make sure it is specific
Any goal that you set has to be as specific as you can make it. For example, if you want to make more money online, then you need to set an exact amount. If your goal is to make $100,000 per year then that is what you need to write down. If you want to lose weight, then specify the exact weight you want to achieve.
No matter what you goal is it has to be specific. If it’s not, then don’t waste your time trying to achieve it as it will be impossible to make happen.
Secret #3 – Make sure it is measurable
When working on goals you need to be able to measure the success of it along the way. If you can’t measure it at any point in time, then it’s not going to be possible to achieve it. If your goal was to make $100,000 per year online then you need to be making around $8,500 per month.
However much income you bring in will show you how close you are to achieving your target.
Secret #4 – Make sure it is action orientated
Does it require action to be taken? If it does then you will easily develop the attitudes, habits, skills and capability to make it happen. No matter how lofty your goals may be as long as you set realistic time-frames for them and map out your action steps required to achieve them, then you will consistently move closer to achieving them.
Secret #5 – Make sure it is realistic
Too many people set themselves unrealistic goals which sets them up for failure from the start. To be realistic a goal must be something that you are both willing and able to work towards, not just a pie in the sky idea that is more of a fantasy than something you can realistically see yourself attaining within a specified time-frame.
Secret #6 – Make sure it has a time-frame/deadline attached to it
This is the most important part of goal setting of all. No time frame means no goal – it’s that simple. If you can’t put a time-frame on it, then it’s nothing more than a pipe dream or a wish. By putting a time-frame on a goal it makes it real. It gives a sense of urgency and commitment.
Once you have a time-frame you can work backwards from it to set milestone points so that you can see that you are on track. It also enables you to break it down into do-able chinks so that you can also make sure you are staying on track for your specified time-frame.
How To Plan Your Best Year Ever
Now you know the formula to guarantee you have the best chance at succeeding at any goal you set, so ahead and write down your top five goals for the next year. next to each of your goals write down the month of the year you will either do it, or it have it done by.
Make sure that these goals are things that you really want and are super important to you. There’s no right or wrong goals you can set, just make sure that they matter to you. If they don’t, then don’t write them down. Only work on those goals that you are 110% committed to achieve.
Then, every day focus on your list and take some action towards each of them. Some may be bigger than others and require more effort so they will need consistent action taken, while others may be easier and need less effort to achieve.
Regardless, be mindful of the target dates for each of them and make sure to keep on track for each of your five main goals. Treat these written goals as your road map to success for the next year, as this is exactly what it is. You just need to follow your map and you will end up at the destination of your choice.