How many times have you set the intention to:
- Eat healthier
- Exercise regularly
- Go to bed early
- Leave the office on time
- Spend more time with your family
- Look for a more exciting job
The start of the new year is usually the time when we set a lot of good intentions and challenging goals but we rarely stick to them to the end of the year.
Does this sound familiar to you?
Don’t you think it’s time to finally make a change and score positive on your goals and dreams?
The difference between this article and any other article about New Year’s resolutions is that after reading it you will have a practical guide as well as a ready to use template on how to become the person you want to be in just 60 days!
Whether you will make the first step is up to YOU.
Already in November, I knew my January article will have something to do with New Year Resolutions. Not because I am out of other good topics to write about or because I am a huge fan of New Year resolutions. I have simply experienced the power of setting a direction for myself.
It was in 2015 when I wrote down 12 things that would help me become the person I wanted to be and below you can find the original list, no alterations:
It is since I wrote down these goals that my life changed significantly and I slowly but surely moved in the direction of becoming the person I have always wanted to be.
My goals for 2018 don’t look much different than my goals for 2016. I am still convinced that if I stick to these basic 12 goals, I will live my life in a way that I will be proud of every single day.
Because I know from experience how difficult it is for us to stick to our goals, I would like to share with you a very simple framework that I came across while reading my latest book in January. It would have certainly helped me on my journey if I would have known it sooner and it can now hopefully help you on yours.
In his bestseller “Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts–Becoming the Person You Want to Be”, Marshall Goldsmith provides a practical guide on how to spark positive change and make it last.
Marshall blames the environment and all its temptations as one of the main reasons why we don’t become who we want to be.
Many of us are good at setting challenging goals and good intentions but we often fail at following up on them. What is more, we find all sorts of excuses in external factors. In order to ensure our success, Marshall suggests that we quantify our progress on each goal on a daily basis. To make it more specific I would like to propose to track your progress for a period of at least 60 days.
The rules of the game are as follows
1. Define a few goals
By defining your goals answer the following questions:
- Are these items important in my life?
- Will success on these items help me become the person I want to be?
There is not a maximum of items you can change in your life but I would suggest to pick up three to five areas in your life that could use a little improvement and can bring you closer to the version of yourself that you want to be.
2. Measure your progress on a daily basis
Marshall’s research has proven that achieving our goals depends on the way we phrase the questions we measure our progress with.
Instead of asking passive questions like “How meaningful was my day?” or “Did I eat healthy today” where we can find a thousand excuses to why our day was not meaningful or why we didn’t eat healthily, he suggests the use of active and engaging questions like:
“Did I do my best to…?”
When the questions begin with “Did I do my best to…” we gain a sense of control and responsibility instead of victimhood. We may not hit our goals every time, but there is no excuse for not trying. Anyone can try.
If you think about it we would like to avoid the shame and embarrassment of facing the reality that day after day we didn’t even try to do what we claimed was most important in our lives.
After all, if we fall short our of goals we either abandon the questions or push ourselves into action. Try it and you will see for yourself!
3. Ask a friend or a relative to keep you accountable for your progress
It doesn’t matter whether it will be a phone call, email or a WhatsApp message, it is important to report your progress to someone every day.
Marshall argues that “we are superior planners and inferior doers”. We are very serious at the moment when we set our intentions but when it comes to taking action we might not find the motivation or strength to do it every single time.
The coach/trainer is the person who will make sure this happens, even only because of factors like shame, guilt, cost, obligation or decency.
How do you feel about giving yourself a chance?
Becoming the person we want to be comes at a price. You cannot spend your life being lazy on your couch and expect it to turn out great and fulfilling.
Remember that you won’t be able to give 100% of yourself every day. Doing your best depends on so many external factors. But despite the obstacles, the effort is what makes the difference. Because at the end the most painful feeling would be to face the reality that we didn’t even try.
Keep in mind that the shorter the time gap between our planning and doing, the greater the chance that we will remember our plan.
Don’t let this be one of the many times you won’t follow up and act on your hopes and dreams of becoming the person you want to be.
Make the first step now!
I strongly advise you to do it because there is no other feeling like the sense of self-accomplishment after you have taken the steps towards your personal goals that you have been postponing for so long.
Make use of the ready to use template that you can download or copy-paste in your Shared Google Spreadsheet. Fill it in and monitor your progress starting from today!
Share a story of someone who has done something kind or generous for you or for someone you know. You have a chance to win a free copy of the book “Triggers” and I will be happy to support you during the whole process, so you won’t be alone in it!
It’s up to you whether YOU WILL make 2018 the year YOU WILL BECOME THE PERSON YOU WANT TO BE…
For further I strongly recommend you Matt Cutts’ TED talk Forget resolutions. Try something new for 30 days.
To find out what was the first step of my journey and get some inspiration to just do it: A journey of a thousand miles begins with a first step
Do you feel afraid or hesitating to make the next step: Sometimes the fear won’t go away, so you will have to do it afraid
No time for what is truly important to you? I bet I can give you some ideas on how to use your time more strategically.
You are a bit lost and don’t know who is the person you want to be? Just think back in time: What do you want to be when you grow up?