New Year's Resolutions?
They NEVER work!
One of the main themes that I have started hearing in recent years around January 1st is that resolutions for the upcoming year are pointless. They are never achieved, shallow, and cause too much disappointment in people's lives.
And I think, to a degree, those naysayers are right. I can think of only two or three resolutions that I have ever fully achieved. Most are half-completed projects or fully-failed attempts at a better life.
I've been thinking about this alot over the last several months as I have dissected everything in my life and I've realized one of the main reasons that I never see my New Years' Resolutions realized.
It's because I don't have a game plan.
I say that I want to accomplish this physical feat or reach this weight goal or better myself in this way. But I rarely break it down beyond that. If I want to write a book or weigh 170 pounds, what do I need to do this month to reach that goal?
Or this week? Or today?
Inspired by Jon Acuff, here is what I've started doing in 2016:
Setting better goals.
Setting Smarter Goals.
And the way that I've embarked on setting better goals is through these three steps:
1) Set 2-3 annual goals: I've found (as I'm sure you have) that the more goals you have, the less likely it is to accomplish any of them. So I've reduced my goals down to 3 goals that I consider the most important in my life (1 relational, 1 physical, and 1 spiritual) and those are the ones I am giving all of my attention for 2016.
2) Develop quarterly goals for those annual goals: I then have broken down each goal into 4 steps based on the four quarters (i.e. 3 month periods) of the year. I've developed what I need to do in Quarter 1 to reach my annual goal, as well as the subsequent three quarters.
3) Determine monthly goals for those quarterly benchmarks: After I determined what my quarterly goals are for each of my 3 annual goals, I break down my current quarter into each month and set monthly goals.
An example of this is my goal to lower my Body Fat % by the end of the year. Rather than setting that as a goal and hoping to eat healthy and working out enough over the next 12 months to reach that goal, I have a goal for month one that I need to accomplish first. Which, for me, was working out 100 minutes every week in January.
Here's the key for how I am seeing success with this experiment this year: I reset my monthly and quarterly goals after EVERY month and quarter.
At the end of each month, I re-evaluate what went well and what didn't and what I need to change for my goal next month. And I am doing the same thing at every quarter.
This allows me to break up my large-scale goals into manageable, bite-size pieces and allows me to adjust them on an on-going, scheduled basis. So if a goal for a month/quarter goes poorly I can re-adjust to try something different for the next time period. It also allows me to redefine success if my goals end up being too difficult or too easy based off the season of life that I am in.
In summary, make smarter goals by:
1) Choosing no more than 3 annual goals.
2) Defining quarter goals for each annual goal.
3) Defining monthly goals for each quarter goal.
4) Evaluate and adjust on a continual basis.
Get goal-setting. And get going!
What goals are you in pursuit of right now? And how do you plan on getting there? Comment below and share with others how you are working on winning at life!