How many of you have either fallen short or totally abandoned your New Year's
resolutions? I would guess most of you. It seems that it is almost expected that these goals most of us set will not be obtained. In fact, most people, from the beginning deep down know they will fail. Herein lies the problem. People actually set themselves up for continued disappointment. Can you break this cycle?
The goals you set for your New Year's resolutions are basically the same type goals we set in the rest of our lives. To reach these goals the seriousness that one has towards goals in general must be utilized otherwise failure is likely. I have divided goal setting into 4 phases: Brainstorming, Planning, Implementing, and Evaluation.
The Brainstorming phase: During this phase, begin to decide on your goal. You can be as unrealistic as you want at first. Would you like to look like Jessica Biel? Or buy a house on the beach? Travel across the world? Be a major league baseball player at 40? However, after reality sets in, start narrowing in on what exactly is realistic, such as losing 10 pounds, buying a nicer home, traveling across the continent, or joining a baseball league, etc.
What you hope to achieve from this phase is a specific goal. It can be modified later but you should really spend a great deal of time trying to understand if this is a goal that you are passionate about. If you don't choose something that has significant importance to you, your passion to pursue it will most definitely fizzle. I believe that failure to achieve your goal makes you more likely to fail to achieve
future goals no matter how unrelated. Also, achieving unrelated goals builds the belief that you will succeed in achieving all future goals, so choose carefully.
During the brainstorming phase you should answer, how much time you have to commit to your goal, how badly you want to achieve it, what are some of the obstacles that may stand in your way, and what motivates you to move through your own resistance or barriers?
The Planning Phase: take some time and ask yourself the following questions:
Are you someone that needs to write your goals down and post them somewhere that you can see them everyday? Are you someone that needs to constantly make self motivating statements to yourself? Can you continually visualize your goal coming true everyday despite no external reminders? It is critical to figure what is going to drive you to accomplish your goal. Without this self awareness, failure is likely.
Think about how you have been successful in the past and pull from what has worked. If nothing has worked then it is necessary to begin imagining what might work. During the planning phase of your goal setting is when you should reach an obtainable realistic goal, an understanding of what your barriers will be, what will motivate you to keep you going, and what kinds of rewards and/or punishments you will use. With this you should be able to concretely set up a step by step plan to accomplish your goal. Depending on if you are an ideas person or a detail oriented person you may need to be very specific.