My four-year old daughter who I call The Chick asked me the other day when she could ride her new tricycle. “Tomorrow” I replied. “But Dad” she exclaimed, Tomorrow’s a long time!”
If only that were still true. If you’re like most people, the things you were going to do tomorrow keep piling up as quick as the days pass. You’ve heard it before: “I was going to do it but life got in the way.”
That’s why only 44% of Americans bother to make New Years Resolutions. The rest have decided they don’t work. Like like banging your head against the wall, it accomplishes nothing except to give you a headache. In fact, instead of making resolutions, it might just be better to bang your head against the wall and save your self-esteem the beating you might give it when you find that your resolutions have fallen by the wayside.
Hey, if you made some New Years resolutions, good for you. However, if you want to make any lasting change, there’s a strategy for doing it and “resolving” to change is not it. I suggest that we throw out New Years resolutions (if you haven’t already) and institute “New Year’s Goals.”
In last week’s edition of Ted’s Tips for Transformation, I revealed what I believe is the key to success: knowing what you want. That’s the first step, the key that opens the door.
The next step is where 90% of people stumble. You must take your thought or resolution about what you want and turn it into a goal. What’s the difference?
First of all, a your must write down your goal or it is just a wish. Sometimes wishes come true (sorry Jiminy Cricket) but they have a better chance if you write them down as a goal. Get yourself a notebook or journal and write down what you want to have, do or who you want to be. If you are serious about this goal, then it becomes a project, something you attend to daily, (kind of like having a kid). Dedicate a notebook or journal to this project.
Now, you may have a number of things that you want. The key here is to ask yourself, “What am I willing to commit to as a goal?” Focus on goals that will have the most impact on your life and that you feel you can reasonably get started on now. Some of your goals may not be fully formed or that you think you’d like to do but are not fully committed. Put those in a “later” or “back-burner” category.
Okay, so now maybe you have three or four goals that you can focus on and commit to right away. You may have heard of the SMART formula for goals. What you want to do now is to set your goals using the SMART formula: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timetable.
- Specific. What exactly do you want to accomplish? Be very clear. Describe it exactly. “In 2010, I am doubling last year’s income” is a lot better than “I want more money.” As Tony Robbins would say to that, “Here’s a dollar, get outta here!” Make sure you state them positively, for example, don’t say, “I don’t want to feel strapped financially anymore”
- Measurable. How will you know when it’s achieved? How will you track your progress? If a goal is measurable, then the results you want will be clear in your mind.
- Attainable. You must believe that it is possible for you to get what you want. Develop a written plan for achieving your goal so that you have a roadmap that confirms in your mind that there is a way to get what you want. Also, identify roadblocks and obstacles that may come up and how you can overcome them.
- Realistic. Be honest with yourself. Is it really something you want, or something you think you should have? Is this goal realistic for what is going on in your life? Is it consistent with your values? If not, then it’s not realistic.
- Timetable. When will you have it? Put some urgency on it by assigning a deadline. Many folks don’t like deadlines. Why? Because it puts pressure on them to perform. That’s exactly the reason you want deadlines. Deadlines act on you, affecting your body chemistry to react to the timetable you’ve set. They prepare your body, your mind and your attitudes to respond effectively. They create a challenge and help support a positive attitude. Don’t underestimate the power of a timetable.
That’s what you’ve got to do to guarantee the highest chance of success for your goals. Sounds like work? You betcha. Do it anyway, I know you’re up for it.
Next week we’ll talk about who you have to Be to get what you want. If you like this post, please leave a comment and/or share it with your social networks.
Here’s to getting what you intend in 2010!,
TMan (the T stands for Transformation, what else?)
Ted A. Moreno, C.Ht., Goal Achievement Specialist www.TedMoreno.com