With 2009 right around the corner, many of you are starting to set resolutions or goals for the New Year. You probably have a long list of things you want to accomplish. Perhaps getting to the gym three times a week, taking a two week vacation, setting and sticking to a weekly budget, learn a new hobby, cooking and eating healthier each night for dinner, but you might be thinking to yourself, “Do I really have the time to make these resolutions a reality?”
We all know people, who seem to do everything, but how do they fit it in with work, family and other commitments? Did this just happen? Are they lucky? No, they are intentional with their long term planning.
For example, gold medal Olympians do not just wake up one day able to do best in the world. Lance Armstrong does not just happen to be a great cyclist and also have the time to start a Cancer foundation. John Coltrane did not just pick up a saxophone and sounds like a jazz legend. Successful people worked at their trade and they plan their development with diligence.
Maybe you do not desire to be a star athlete or rock star, but you would like to be in better shape, to be able to play a tune or two on a guitar. You have to start with the same approach, develop a plan to make your wish a reality.
The most effective way to turn a New Year’s resolution into a reality is to create a goal around that wish. Most people live only with dreams and wishes, which is a good thing …but it is very different from goals. In fact, 99% of people do not know how to set an effective goal. For us to make sure you are in the case of 1%. There are five characteristics of a goal:
- Your goal must be something that is important to you. This sounds so obvious, but many times our goals are created by others, our boss, a friend, resolves the child, but not you, so make sure your goal is truly your own goal.
- Your goal must be the right bet. You may want to run more but if you have not jog for the last year, it is probably not the right size goal to say that you want to be a world champion marathon runner by the end of this year. Your goal maybe a reach for you, but not completely not unrealistic.
- Your goal must be specific and measurable. Loosing weight is not specific or measurable. Loosing five pounds or thirty pounds by December 31, 2009 is specific and measurable. You need to be able to measure if you have met your goal or not. Loosing ten pounds by a 30-years high school reunion on September 28, 2009 is specific and measurable.
- Your goal must be written down. You cannot just think something in your head and call it a goal. Write it down and when you do, youown it.
- Your goal must be reviewed, look over your goal, put it in front of you. Review your goals; otherwise, it does not count as a goal.
So, for example, if one of you resolutions is to read more, you can turn that desire into a goal. “I will read ten books by the end of this school year, June 15, 2009.” Now, of course, only you would know if that is important to you and the right size for you, but it is definitely specific and measurable, just be sure to write it down and review it and it is a goal.
Now, that you have turned your desire into goal, the next step is to design a pathway to achieve that goal. To determine your pathway, your proactive steps in achieving long-term plan, you needed two things:
- Decide how much time it will take you to achieve your goal.
- Schedule that time into your weekly plan.
For example, your ten-book goal means that you should average one book for month. You may say to read one book a month will take me 8 hours. Therefore, you need to include two reading hours per week into your weekly schedule. Plan this out into your schedule; just like you would a doctor’s appointment and you will be soon on your own way to seeing your hopes, and New Year’s resolutions become reality. The ability to turn wishes into reality is a powerful thing, enjoy, and dream big.