We've all been there...
3...2...1...Happy New Year!!! Cue the celebration, the confetti and the toast to the fresh promise of a New Year and the possibility of a New You! Just the sheer excitement of being able to start over again and finally make this year different, is enough to lighten the load of past failures and rejuvenate a motivation that at this point, is at best...a flicker of a dying flame.
So with all of this new found excitement and motivation, why are New Year's Resolutions essentially dead on arrival?
The first problem is, most New Year's resolutions are just glorified wants; or wish lists, if you will. There is no resolute thinking, no action plans, no true understanding as to why these things even matter.
If we want to succeed in 2019 (where we failed in past years), we need a change of thinking and a total make-over in our approach.
In this week's Bite-Sized Breakdown, we will be talking about how to turn that flicker into an inferno, by setting goals in a more efficient and compelling manner.
Let's make 2019 a year for the record books! One that you can look back on as a turning point, of what became a beautiful passion-filled adventurous story.
Now, I'm sure many of you have heard about setting S.M.A.R.T. goals. If not, I'll give you a quick breakdown of what they are below. However, please don't discount this approach, as in many cases this approach helps to separate a "wish" from a tangible, actionable purpose.
Specific: What exactly does your goal look like? You need to to know what you want to achieve inside and out. Know your goal's likes, dislikes, favorite color, favorite movie, credit score, dating history, criminal history, etc.
Vague goal: I want to get healthy
Specific goal: I want to lose 10 lbs, by March 31st 2019, through exercising 3 times a week and creating a daily caloric deficit of 250 calories.
Big difference eh?!
Become BFF's with your goal, as opposed to treating your goal like that close talking acquaintance who rambles on, as your mind wanders to all of the other things you'd rather be doing.
Measurable: What gets measured, gets managed. You'll need a goal, that can be measured by using certain success metrics. Break each goal down to small segments, which can give you evidence based feedback, as to whether or not you are progressing in the right direction.
Non-measurable: I want to be happy.
Measurable: I will spend 20 minutes talking to loved ones each week and take 3 PFT classes/week to keep me centered and feeling good in my body.
Side note: It's important to remember that happiness is not something that can be pursued; it's something that ensues through actions toward your true needs and desires.
Attainable: "I want to be Superman and fly around the city, while drinking a Yahoo and holding a puppy". If this is you, you're doing it wrong Bro. Well, I suppose the Yahoo and puppy part is attainable, by not very compelling (minus the puppy...puppies are awesome!).
Ask yourself, "Do you realistically have the time, money, skills and talent to achieve the goal you are setting for yourself? Now, this does not mean to take it easy and back away from your ultimate dreams. It just means to logically look at where you currently stand and figure out the most appropriate next steps.
I can't stress this enough! Still go big and shoot for the highest of highs. Even if you come up a bit short, you'll achieve more than if you had set the bar lower.
Just be honest with yourself...decide what you want to be and go be it.
Relevant: This one is simple. How bad do you want to achieve your goal? Why do you want to achieve it? What will it mean to you when you achieve it, or how bad will it hurt if you come up short?
Spend a lot of time going over these questions. The journey toward your goals WILL get hard and if you don't have compelling concrete answers to the relevance of your goal, you WILL quit. #quittersneverwin
Timely: It's time to take this relationship up a notch and "put a date on it". Without a deadline (or date) attached to your goal, it's only a wish. You need something to shoot for and an hour glass of slow building pressure to get you off of the couch and the smartphone out of your hand.
Whatever it is, sign-up now and figure out the "how" later. Trust me, you'll find a way.
As you can see, S.M.A.R.T. goal setting is far beyond the typical "want/wish list" of most people's so called New Year's Resolutions. However, this strategy still may not be enough to get you over that proverbial hump when life decides to smack you right upside Yo pretty face.
So, let's dig a little deeper and help insulate your new born goals with some Bonus Success Tips.
Motivation is fool's gold: All that glitters isn't gold and motivation is the fool's gold of the achievement world. It may be all bright and sparkly, but it has no real value (at least not in the long-term). Motivation will ALWAYS fade and when it does, what are you left with?
If you really want to achieve your goals, then raising your standards is where the moneys at. People almost always find a way to meet their standards. My advice, consider motivation as a bonus. The cherry on top of the sundae if you will. The cherry is nice and all, but it doesn't make or break the sundae.
Slow = Fast: But, I want it now!! Think about all of the most meaningful things in your life right now. How many of them came fast? My guess...probably zero.
If you go slow, build sustainable habits, keep a level mind and never give up; you will absolutely reach your goals. It may take longer, but you will get where you want to be.
If you go fast, base everything around motivation, look for short cuts and bend to how you feel; you will fail. Then, you'll eventually get motivated again, just to repeat the same process and end up with the same result. You may start off fast, but in the end you'll make no substantial progress toward your ultimate goal.
Long Cuts > Short Cuts
Get Yo Mind Right: Accept right now, what you are willing to go through and give up to reach your dreams. Why? Because you will have to make sacrifices and there will be pain involved. To that I say, "good"! It should be hard to achieve our inner most desires. That's what makes them so valuable and a worthwhile pursuit.
Sometimes in life, you just have to play in pain if you want to win. So when you feel like giving up, you're up against a wall and nothing seems to be going right, please remember..."Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional". Dig in deeper! If you're at the end of your rope, tie a knot in that bi*%# and hold on. Above all else, don't ever give up on something that matters to you.
Well folks, that about wraps up this dive into purposeful goal setting. But, let's get one last taste of what it all means, with this week's Bite-Sized Breakdown.
Please take a moment and look at the cover photo of this blog again. Do you notice anything? Do you notice anything about the goals?
Hopefully after reading the article, you'll be able to see that this cover photo has inadequate goal setting skills and will more than likely fail to fully realize their objectives. Good luck next year cover photo.
When setting goals, they need to mean something to us. It should hurt if we come up short and enrich our lives if fulfilled. They need to be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. "I want to be healthy" or "I want to be happy", just won't cut it. Here's a gummy vitamin and a hug. Boom!! Now you're healthier and happier.
Spend some time on this one. What REALLY matters to you? What is something, that if not achieved, would absolutely lead to regret later on in life?
Before making the final decision this year, I want you to ask yourself a question.
What would you go after, if you knew you couldn't fail?
This single question, will help strip away fear-based decision making and help get to the soul of your true desires.
Now, all that's left is to take action (hint: This is the hardest part) and continue taking action, until your goals are realized. So buckle up, tense your resolve, get off your biscuit and go risk it.
Wait a second...hold on...
But, what if you do get scared and start procrastinating?
No worries my friend. If fear sets in, just repeat this short phrase (with the least scary voice possible and inside your own head), "Hurry Up! You're dying." That should be enough to take away the fear of trivial every day tasks.
Now GO GET IT! Whatever "it" may mean to you.
Become a Better You in 2019!!