For many, the beginning of the year always seems like the best time to make big changes or commit to goals that, for whatever reason, have slipped by in previous years. And late in 2018 in the article “A mwah. guide to New Year’s Resolutions” we covered the resolutions we do share, should share and maybe should not ever allow to see the light of day. Well, as people slowly trickle back to work for 2019, not everyone will have seen that article, and you are likely to be hearing a whole raft of New Year’s resolutions, plans, hopes and dreams.
If you’re anything like me, January 2nd is the start date of all my goals (that will positively change my life forever) – January 1st is a recovery day. Like most Australians, my goals include: improving my fitness (eat, sleep, exercise, repeat), saving for a home, travelling, being awesome at my job and being an environmentally sustainable person (therefore, making me a decent human).
We are not trying to test your resolve in the first 2 weeks of the year, but the truth is whilst many of us set out to accomplish new year goals, only 9% will actually achieve them.
Plan of Action
My approach every year is a fairly common one, let’s call it the ‘spray and pray’ approach to goal setting. What I’ve really done is make a wish list of all the things I think will make my life more fulfilling but have not given much thought about how to achieve them – I’m praying I will somehow just magically get there!
The problem with the ‘spray and pray’ approach is that it’s highly unlikely we will achieve any of our goals. We need to have an overall purpose which gives us a clear reason to achieve our goals and of course, we need a plan.
A purpose can act as a guiding light, keeping you on course and focused when times get rough or interest wanes.
Having a plan is critical for achieving goals. One of the easiest and well-known frameworks to plan are S.M.A.R.T goals which provide direction and a simple plan for success.
S – Specific
When setting a goal, be specific about what you actually want to accomplish and why it’s important to you. Think about your purpose.
M – Measurable
How will you know when you’ve achieved your goal? By making your goal measurable, it creates visibility to gauge progress
A – Attainable
Consider what you can do to make your goal attainable. It may require you to develop new skills or change your mindset. Goals are meant to inspire you to grow and create motivation – not discourage. If you’re currently missing the tools, skills or headspace to achieve your goal, consider how you will fill the gap – don’t leave it hanging in the wind.
R – Realistic
Is your goal truly realistic? For example, if your goal is to find a unicorn, to be frank, it’s not going to happen. But if you realign your goal to finding a horse (close enough!) it’s highly possible!
T – Time-Based
Anyone can create a goal, but if it lacks realistic timing, the goal might be not achievable. If you give yourself too little time, you’ll end up deflated and stressed. If there’s too much time available, procrastination can set in, as the goal is surpassed by more urgent priorities.
You’ve gotten this far in the blog so it’s safe to say that you’re a motivated person!
Motivation is your willingness or drive to do something – it’s the fuel that propels a person to jump out of bed and hit the gym. When you’re radiating with excitement and enthusiasm, working towards a goal is a breeze. However, we can’t rely solely on motivation to carry us to success, we need routine.
Every year we set out to achieve our resolutions but then life happens e.g. work gets busy, good and bad things occur that pull our focus away. When we make working towards a goal part of our daily routine, it unconsciously stops us from giving up.
For example, if you’re training for a marathon, you might start training early in the morning before the world wakes. Eventually getting up early for exercise will become what you always do – your norm, habit-forming, repeatable and routine.
Forget the ‘spray and pray’ approach – you don’t need luck to achieve your new year’s resolutions what you need is to harness the motivation using the purpose, a plan, and pattern-interrupt so it becomes routine.
Have an excellent new year and go out there and be awesome!
Check out the mwah. website for more information about goal setting and achieving your work-related ambitions and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.