Most people give some thought to the New Year as we approach this time. Many people make New Year’s Resolutions and then fail to follow through with them. You’ve seen the statistics before – few resolutions are carried out to success. Why?
Most people fail at their resolutions because they lack clarity and an execution plan.
For a goal or resolution to work it must be specific and clear. It must include exactly what you wish to accomplish, how you intend to accomplish it and by when. Without that structure it is merely an aspiration or a wish. Aspirations and wishes do not get you far.
For example, a typical New Year’s Resolution is like this: “This year I will lose weight”. This is useless. Unless you commit to how you will lose weight, how much you will lose and how you will do it, and by when, you do not have a goal and you do not have a plan that will work. You are simply setting yourself up for failure and disappointment. Then you will say that goals do not work.
A better resolution or goal is like this: “In 2014 I will lose 5 pounds per month, a total of 60 pounds by December 31, 2014.I will do this by limiting my calorie intake to 1800 calories a day and by exercising 60 minutes a day.”
Now you know what you are going to accomplish (lose 60 pounds); when you are going to accomplish it (5 pounds each month, total loss by end of year); and how you are going to do it (by limiting calories in and by expending more through a defined exercise amount.) It would be even better to say what exercises you will do.
Even people who define their goals with clarify often fail due to lack of execution. A plan for execution would go something like this:
Beginning January 1 I will keep a journal of everything I eat and its caloric content. I will do this on paper or with the XYZ software on my smart phone. I will limit my calories each day to 1800.
Beginning January 1 I will exercise each day and keep track of the type of exercise and the duration in my journal.
I will schedule my exercise sessions in my planner each week.
Each week I will track my progress and if necessary adjust my eating and exercise plans.
Each month I will review my progress and make any necessary adjustments.
I will write all this down and review it daily.
Then you do it. Every day and every week and every month you do it. If you are motivated to accomplish your goal or resolution you will follow through.
Try this approach this year and see how it works for whatever goal you have.
Finally, do not set too many goals. They will overwhelm you and you will achieve none of them. Limit yourself to no more than three, ideally just one. Focus your energy and effort on those one to three goals.
Good luck – and Happy New Year.Wishing you well,
Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.