For some, making New Year’s resolutions does nothing to move them towards progress. One of the reasons is that New Year’s resolutions are treated like holidays. In December, singing carols and decorating Christmas trees sounds like a great idea. However, doing that in late April will have people think you have lost your mind. And because between two Christmas seasons is a whole year, it’s too easy to not think about Christmas till you get to November.
This is why New Year’s resolutions aren’t the very best ways to set short or long term goals. Forgetting resolutions is an equally effective habit as setting them. And unfortunately for many, it’s inevitable.
But setting goals is different. Or rather, you can make it different. For starters, you can design your goal setting process to be a lot more effective by creating a frequent review cycle.
What I simply mean, is that you who sets the goal can tell yourself how frequently you should review your progress.
Now, these designs and strategies sound nice but they are extremely useless unless you practice them. Unless you make them a habit.
You see, goal setting strategies are not the reason why people don’t accomplish their goals. It’s the people not sticking to them.
And the only way you can stick to doing something, is to develop the habit for it. You become a better writer, the more you write. You become a better football player, the more you play football.
So you become a better goal achiever, the more you achieve goals.
And this is what this post is about.
So my challenge to you is to set weekly goals, targets, missions or tasks.
Set small but highly achievable tasks. Get into the habit of creating a small goal sheet. Write down the task. Write down why it’s important to achieve it. And then when it’s complete, write down when you accomplished.
Select only ONE small thing to strive for that you can accomplish in a week. Make sure you WRITE IT DOWN. Also, write WHAT IT MEANS TO YOU. And when done, ensure you CHECK IT OFF and even write something about that achievement if you would like.
I propose setting and reviewing the goal on the same day. Most preferably on a day that you are relaxed but not lazy. Sunday morning perhaps.
And to get you started off if you don’t know where to begin, you can try aim to accomplish the following.
- Jog for a 1 kilometer
- Write 1 page (5 paragraphs) of a short story
- Don’t consume any kind of alcoholic drink for one week
- Write a nice, short email (about 3 paragraphs max) to find out how your best your friend or relative is doing.
- Read one chapter of a non-fiction book in a field you find interesting
- Read about the great migration that takes place in the Serengeti
- Watch a YouTube video about how to prepare a dish you have never tasted but are interested to taste.
As you can tell, the possibilities are endless. Try aim to achieve things related to you learning something, feeling good about yourself or challenging yourself to do something new.
You will most definitely realize that this is achievable. Not only that, it can be easily measured. At the end of the week you should have done something you are proud to check-off on that sheet.
And if you are not proud, next time, aim to accomplish something slightly more challenging.
I can almost certainly guarantee that you will learn something extremely valuable when you practice this for an entire month.
You see, dreams are actually built by accomplishing one small but very significant task at a time.
I wish I could plead with you to begin doing this. But I can’t. You have to plead with yourself to commit to it and to at least give this a try for a month.
Dreamers face this challenge every day. That unless you are consciously moving closer towards your goals, you are most likely and unconsciously, mover further away from them.
Make progress and not excuses.