So let me ask you, have you made your “New Year’s Resolutions”? I have a recommendation for you– STOP IT. But why, for you make new resolutions every year. There is part of the problem, it becomes a vicious cycle. So stop making New Year’s Resolutions that just don’t work.
A former client that owned several health club facilities, said that he sells more memberships in the months of December and January than the rest of the year. Why is this? This is due to our human desire to get in shape and change our body image. He said is that you will find his facility packed to capacity during the month of January and February- with long lines at the machines and the classes full of people. But, wait until March or April– 70% of the people that started working-out in January just QUIT!!
The problem with making New Year’s Resolution is that it sets you up for failure. The best test for you is to determine if have S.M.A.R.T goals. S.M.A.R.T. refers to goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Framed.
Specific: Goals need to be specific. Often we set goals that are so loose, therefore it’s nearly impossible to judge whether you achieve these goals or not. For example, a statement like “I wish I will lose weight” is too vague. How will you know if and when you’ve reached your goal? Setting a goal like, “I will lose two pounds each and every week for this year” is more specific. At the end of each week and month it will be a simple matter of weights and measures: take your measurements and get on the scale.
Measurable: Goals need to be measurable. For example, many of us want to increase our number of contacts. But, “meeting new clients” is an ambiguous statement. A clearer objective is “I will meet three new prospects each week, and at least one of each of these prospects will become a client.” It’s a simple, concrete goal. This makes it easy to see if you hit your target.
Achievable: Goals need to be reasonable and achievable. Nearly everyone has tried to drop a few pounds at one time or another. Often their success or failure depends on setting practical goals. Losing 15 pounds in 30 days is unrealistic (unless you’re planning a medical procedure). Losing two pounds per week is reasonable and achievable. So in order to lose just two pounds per week, you decrease your caloric intake by 7000 calories per week (a reduction of 3500 calories equals one pound of weigh loss) and you can do this by reducing your daily intake by just 1000 calories and increasing your activity. Make it easy, enjoyable, and achievable; however don’t set yourself up for failure by setting goals that are out of reach.
Realistic: Goals need to be realistic. Guess what, we are not 18 years old anymore, so stop thinking you can still do everything as you once did. As adults, we learn that while we can achieve a great deal, you can’t have it all at once– the point here is to reasonably pace yourself. It’s important to honestly assess yourself and your personal and physical limitations. Also, do you have the ability and commitment to make your dream come true? For example, you may love to play tennis, but do you have the time, ability, talent and commitment to become a pro? So be honest with yourself.
Time Framed: Goals need to have a specific time frame. Having a set amount of time will give your goals structure. For example, many of us want to find a new job or start their own business. Some people spend a lot of time talking about what they want to do, someday. But, without an specific goal and date there is no sense of urgency, no reason to take any action today. Having a specific time frame gives you the motivation to start today. It also helps you monitor your progress during the process.
I devised a quick and simple 2013 Personal Goal Setting Exercise . . . .
1- Write down your ‘magical’ and memorable moments for the past year. Identify those moments that will live with you the rest of your life. It may be something simple as having a ‘belly laugh’ with an old friend. Seeing your newborn grandson or granddaughter for the first time. It might be getting that promotion you worked so hard the past 5 years.
2- So what didn’t work in 2012? Now this is a tough one. What will you do differently? What will you NEVER do again? What do you need to change?
3- So what are you committed to changing this year? This is a tough one. You need to get very specific and detailed- remember these must be S.M.A.R.T. goals. The bigger the goal, the more commitment and measurement needs to take place. So, break these goals into smaller manageable goals, or KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators). But also clearly identify the consequences if you don’t achieve your goal and ultimate cost in your life? Put these goals in front of your ‘nose’, so they are seen on a daily basis. One client puts the S.M.A.R.T. goals above the bathroom toilet, so they are seen each and every day.
4- Set up a Daily Ritual. An example of a Daily Ritual is, “When I wake up every morning, the first thing I will do is go for a 45 minute run”. Another might be, “I set 5 hours every weekend that I can read one book per week”. What you need to do is clearly identify what you need to change, and make the change. Changes start with Your Daily Ritual.
5- Make a list of every person that you will share your S.M.A.R.T. goals with, including key persons within your organization, your spouse or partner, your friends, and your Business Mentor & Coach. Keep in mind that your ’accountability partner’ will agree to hold you to the goal, and ask that you supply regular accountability, and also keep you accountable to making the necessary changes in your life or business to attain these S.M.A.R.T. goals.