It has been 49 days since the start of 2016; are you on track to complete your New Year resolutions? Are you tracking how well you are doing? Do your resolutions align with the future you want for yourself?
I’m not a fan of resolutions, because I believe in not waiting until January 1st to make a change for the better. I truly believe anyone can make a change if they take a step back, determine the small steps for that change, and get started!
This year I did something for the first time, I took time over the holidays to think about the future, what in the world do I want for my life? I found that processing the question over a few days really helped solidify concrete goals for the future.
There is a huge difference between “I want to be rich” and “Have a positive net worth of $$$$ by age XX for individuals who realistically can do so.
“Being rich” regularly inspires us to heed get rich quick mentalities, because being rich does not truly mean anything to the future without knowing what it means for you.
The reason it’s recommend starting out with a long term vision, which is very much subject to change throughout your life, is that it helps us continually make progress in that direction.
Personally, I find annual goals a great way to make sure that you are.
For my first time going through the process below, it helped me feel like I found a comfort in knowing that I’m not exactly where I want to be (that would be a boring vision). It gives a boost knowing that I’m taking time to drive the car of life towards that end destination, even if there are turns, bumps, stops, breakdowns, and repairs along the way.
What exactly are goals?
A goal is a desired outcome you seek to obtain in a specified amount of time.
Goals are sentences we author to give ourselves a path to walk on to achieve a desired result. They are thoughts on doing better. They give us direction. They give us peace of mind. They give us motivation!
Forget resolutions, change to goals!!
Reflect on your life, truthfully, how many New Year resolutions stuck throughout the whole year?
How many continued to stick as a new habit after that year?
How many of your resolutions move you forward reaching the life you want?
I’ve barely made resolutions on an annual basis, they have never stuck, and I couldn’t even remember what they were. I believe the goals for this year impact my life differently as they help align to a life-long vision. They give opportunity to own and achieve positive tasks this year, with lots of new areas to grow in.
I decided to follow a guide on creating goals, and made a few tweaks for myself to better utilize the process. Stefan Plyarinos, a life coach, mentor, and internet marketer, wrote a blog and created a video to give a step by step process he uses each year: Goal Setting Workshop
I definitely recommend going through the process and he are some tips on changes to make it even better.
- Create your own categories and combine if needed
- Take 20 minutes to complete the brainstorm, then revisit the next day to add new thoughts
- Take goals that make you excited and you’re passionate about!!
- Be flexible, add or remove goals if YOU truly feel it’s best for you and your future
How can you track your goals?
Once you have your goals written, typed up, printed, in a notebook, or any other recorder you choose, let’s decide on tracking them.
First, how do you usually track your tasks? Are you an app user? Laptop or Desktop computer fan? Legal pad or graph paper? Do what you think best for you.
Second, what are the different category time boxes for your goals? Goals can be split in daily, weekly, monthly, and one time. I’m a huge Microsoft fan, so I utilized OneDrive to access them from anywhere in Excel.
In a nutshell, I created a sheet for each category from the brainstorming process that included a table to input the goal, action plan, and reasoning for making it important in my life this year. For the goal tracker, I created tables with dates in accordance to each time box mentioned above (yes I created a daily one…thank you autofill), and added expectation vs actual completion.
My tracker has each week of the year, Salad consumption as the goal, expectations of 3, with a blank cell to record how many I actually ate (sometimes 4, sometimes 1…#lifeproblems).
As I’ve said before, give yourself credit for the direction and work to do better the next week.
SN – One quick lesson I learned this year was to split up your one time goals throughout the year. For example, if you want to learn how to swim, play the guitar, and program, then split them up throughout the year to give yourself focus and knowing you will get to all of them. Some evenings I was a bit spaghetti brained and by doing this it really helped me relax knowing I could accomplish one at a time without sacrificing another. Third, create a high level plan for the long term goals (one-time). Lastly, we need to make time each day (if you have daily goals) to reflect and track what we’ve done versus what we wanted to. Also set time at the end of each month to see how you’re doing and to remind yourself of why you’re even doing them. I tried to help myself with this by making a monthly goal of reviewing my goals (win,win!!).
- Yearly goals that align to our long term life vision insures we are moving in the direction we want our life to take, in other words taking time to pursue our right to happiness
- Accept you are not perfect. We are going to miss some of our daily goals, give yourself some slack, regroup, and get back on track!
- Life is a balancing act. By creating goals in different areas of life we give ourselves that balance and make it easy to prioritize throughout the year
- Take time to reflect on how to track and complete goals that work for you and your life that lead you to a wealthy, fulfilling, happy life It is never everrrrr a bad day to make a positive change to your life, make your goals today!!
- “Life is inherently risky. There is only one big risk you should avoid at all costs, and that is the risk of doing nothing.”- Denis Waitley
- “Life is a progress, and not a station.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” - Tenzin Gyatso