Five tips to make the new resolutions stick!
2015 is upon us along with resolutions to lose a stone, give something up or doing something about your career such as taking on more responsibility, changing direction, being more organised, getting a pay increase or working on your work/life balance.
We inevitably start off with the best intentions that rarely come to fruition or completion! Statistics report that only 8-10% of us achieve our goals and there are a myriad of reasons for this such as:
- Setting ‘negative’ goals - I want to ‘give up’, I want to ‘lose’, I need to ‘stop’ etc.
- Multitasking – Doing too many things too quickly with a hope you’ll reach your goal sooner.
- Underestimating timescale – Usually by accurately assessing time to complete without building in an element for procrastination!
- Goals set by others or setting others goals – Goals need to be your own for them to work!
- Unrealistic objectives – It’s great to aspire being the CEO of a multi-national company if you’re already on the board but don’t expect to take over in the next year if you’ve just joined!
- Review – All too often we’re caught up in doing the activities while drifting off course without noticing, as a result of not carrying out frequent reviews.
How can we change those stats to work in our favour? How can we realise the goals we set ourselves?
Here are five top tips which aren’t rocket science but will help you reach the moon should that be your destination.
- Motivation – What motivates us? Normally something that is important to our beliefs. Are you looking to pacify someone else or creating your own goal so they’ll reach theirs? Consider this when setting the goal. Establish what will make it happen for you. Understand what it is to anchor your thoughts when times come that steer you away or you find yourself on another track! Prioritise what is important to you. Focus on the outcome as hard work to get there will be required otherwise you would have done this some time ago!
- Be S.M.A.R.T. – Most of us know this acronym and this is the key to success. Specific is the clarity, the direction or path to get to the final goal. Don’t be vague, be clear in what the outcome is to be. Measurable is data, the timeline, quantities that are needed to get you there. If you want to increase your database, know by how many and how you will achieve this i.e. increase by 100 in next six months. That’s an average of 17/mth or 4/wk or 1/day. You may then set yourself a goal of three calls per day to assure one will sign up. Not such a big goal when broken down! Attainable is making sure it’s within reach. 1000 new contacts may not necessarily be achievable when considering all other aspects of work! Relevant is simply that. What’s the reason for reaching that number of contacts? Just to increase your likes on FB/LinkedIn isn’t relevant on its own! Time Focused is all about setting timelines. These should include intermittent goals so you can celebrate early successes as well as the ultimate end goal
- Don’t just say it, write it! There’s a psychological link between the physical action of doing the old fashioned thing of ‘writing’ (not typing!) your goal down and action. Use positive affirmations such as ‘will’ over ‘would like’ etc. For example “I will increase my database by 17 new contacts per month”, as opposed to “I would like to see my database increase…” From this you will likely take action in the first statement while looking for get-out clause in the latter!
- Plan it – We’re not talking about wishing on a star! A main factor often missed is considering the steps required to arrive there. We may get as far as writing a goal down but actually creating a plan of ‘what/when’ each step is to be carried out. This is even more important for those larger goals with all its components.
- Keep it Alive – We have to live with it, nurture it and we keep it alive. It’s a journey where actions need to be taken along the way and for long-term goals, the journey may get hard at times and these are the moments of upmost importance to stick with the plan. At the beginning the plan seemed great, and if you start to lose sight, it may just be down to re-aligning your own commitment to accomplishing it.
Here’s wishing you an exceptional start to 2015, a prosperous one too.
Happy new year to one and all.
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Karen Hayns MSc - Future PerfectSeptember 11th, 2017