Well this is the first post of 2012 and once again, I’d like to wish you a very happy New Year!
If like most people, you’ve thought about goals for the new year and reflected on 2011, you’ve probably set some New Years Resolutions.
That in itself isn’t a bad thing, being goal orientated is a good thing (although I don’t understand why the majority of people are only goal orientated at this time of the year)
Anyway, i’m here to tell you that in actual fact, New Years Resolutions kinda suck! Why? Well think about it… How many people set them? and now… how many people forget about their new years resolutions a month, a few weeks or even a few days into the new year? You see, from a Neuro Linguistic Programming point of view, when you set a New Years resolution, your subconscious mind will think, “Okay, i’m setting a resolution for the new years… what does that mean?” and then it goes to its database of all the information you’ve ever put into it and chances are it pulls out a card from a file drawer that reads
“New Years Resolutions: A well meaning goal that most people forget about after a few weeks of setting them”… in other words, you’re probably setting yourself up for failure.
But what if we used a goal setting exercise to enhance the chances of us keeping to our resolve?
You may have heard of a SMART goal before. so if you’ve set a resolution to lose weight, make more money, gain a new career, quit smoking or whatever, let’s set it as a SMART goal!
The acronym SMART stands for:
It’s no good just telling yourself you want to lose weight or make more money in 2012… that’s too vague and from the point of view of the subconscious mind, it gives it very little information and zero motivation. I mean you could make an extra £1 or $1 and that’s making more money or it could just mean losing 1lbs… Be specific such as “I will lose 10lbs of by the 31st of January 2012 by eating smarter and working out more”… Now that’s more specific and adds a bit of motivation as you have an actual target. Also set an emotional reason for your goal or a Why? Why do you want to achieve that goal? Maybe your goal is to make more money this year? Perhaps the emotional attachment to that goal could be to take your kids to Disneyworld this year?
Following of from Specific goals, you want your goals to be measurable. This can be easier with quantifiable things like money, weight etc. Also set targets. It will keep you motivated if you break your goals down into smaller chunks. For example, if you’ve set the goal to lose 10lbs by the 31st of January, you can break them down into 2.5lbs per week!
Attainable / Action Planned
A goal is nothing in my opinion without a plan of action. If it is attainable, then there must be a plan attached to it. Anyone can set a goal and most people do. The problem is most people don’t plan it out and don’t understand what it takes to attain that goal. This is where you will need to seek out what you need in order to attain your goal, what knowledge you need etc and then plan it! Remember, if you fail to plan, you plan to…? Right you got it! 😉
I’m all for being positive but you need to be realistic too. Make sure your goals are realistic and relevant to you. Realistic in the terms that if you’ve set a goal to become an olympic standard sprinter and you’re technically obese, chances are, it’s not going to happen this year. Also make sure it’s relevant to your goals. There’s no point setting a goal to qualify as a IFA if you’ve no interest in finance!
This is related to measurable goals. Set goals in a timeline so you know when you want to achieve something by and when you want to achieve the stepping stones. Saying I will be 12% body fat is almost just a dream until you give it a deadline and saying I will be 12% body fat by 1st June 2012 – right in time for the beach! is much more powerful!
All the best!