It is coming to the end of the year and a lot of people think about making a ‘New Year’s Resolution’ or setting a new ‘Goal’ for the new year ahead. Why is it that all of a sudden, for the ‘new year’, it is time to make a change now? If it was really important, then why not start today? For businesses or people who have a pattern of setting regular goals e.g. Yearly, Quarterly, Monthly etc. then the New Year goal makes sense – after having the festive season to relax, recharge, celebrate and reflect on the year that was (in general). When we do decide that we are going to have a New Year’s resolution, and If we put some effort into constructing our new year’s resolution then we are most likely to achieve what we set out to Be, Do or Have.
There is also two types of New Year Resolutions which will require a slightly different approach however the tips below are generic and can be applied to both.
- Something we want to achieve, do or have. And these are goal orientated.
- Something we want to be e.g. A non-smoker, a Non-Drinker (or drink less), A family person (e.g. spend more time with kids & wife)
Tip #1: Create a big Why!
The first question I always ask when someone sets a resolution or new year goal is WHY? For most people it is just a good idea and this is the start of the goal not being achieved. The resolution or goal must be compelling. And by this I mean it must illicit some emotions within that we want to experience during the journey of achieving the goal, and when we reach the goal. If our Why is big enough, the how will take care of itself. When constructing your resolution or goal, include some of your why, so each time you review/read/recite it, it will illicit those emotions and you are more compelled to achieve it.
Tip #2: Write it down and make it real.
The first mistake I notice people make with of goals is that it is really just a thought. It is a last minute attempt to make themselves feel good that they are going to be, do or have something different into the new year. If it is a thought and not written down (as most New Year resolutions are), then how real is it. How can the unconscious mind decide if it is real or not? If it is just a dream or thought, then the unconscious mind will most likely discard the idea, and will as a result not search or notice ways in which to achieve these ‘thoughts’.
Tip #3: Be specific in what your target is
The second mistake I notice people make is they are not specific with the result they are after and therefore, in most instances, end up with no results. This also messes with the unconscious mind because when we don’t reach our goal, it starts to notice failure, we feel terrible, and then we question the validity of setting goals in the first place because we never achieve them. And this starts the wheel in motion of never setting goals or never achieving goals.
As an example, after the festive season, a lot of people want to lose weight. Ok that’s cool so if I lose 100grams I have achieved that goal, right. I could lose 20 grams and still I have lost weight so now we can give up. Is that what I really want, is that enough – I would say not. If I state I want to lose 5kg then now we have something to aim for..
Tip #4: Give your goal/resolution a time frame.
Often people will set a target of what they want to achieve, however they do not put a time frame on when It is going to be achieved. When you know when it will be achieved, you can check in on your progress to know if you are on target or need to change your approach. I don’t believe that it matters when you start working toward your goal/resolution as much as it is important to know when it will be completed by. In reality, once you have a well-constructed goal/resolution written down, your unconscious mind will immediately start looking for ways to make it reality.
Tip #5: State the goal as if now.
Most of the time when we set goals we state it as “I want….”, “I am going to…..”, “I will……” etc. This is ok for a start, but the gold happens when we state the goal as if it has already happened. When we do this, the unconscious mind starts to believe that, that I who you are and/or it will start to notice ways in which to make it happen and possibly your actions and attitude will change without being consciously aware of it. E.g. It is June 2017 and I have lost 15kg.
Tip #6: Review Daily
When people often set goals they often remind themselves at the beginning and then don’t review it until something comes up and they think “yeah I have a goal/resolution to do…….”. The problem is unless we keep it front of mind then we tend to procrastinate and not give it the attention it deserves. Reviewing and reading your goal/resolution aloud needs to become part of your daily routine. We do this because it keeps it front of mind, you are more likely to notice opportunities during the day to make it happen and reinforces the message to the unconscious mind (which sometimes needs to be reprogrammed after years of being on a particular path).
Tip #7: Take any help you can get
Sometimes we set big, and sometimes scary resolutions or goals and that is great (especially when it comes to improving health and relationships). With these really worthwhile goals it is important to ask yourself some important questions to determine whether you are going to do it on your own.
- Has this been done before by someone else?
- What steps did they take?
- Do I need assistance from others? And who would they be?
- Have I procrastinated on this before? What’s going to be different this time?
Getting assistance and following the path others have taken is a sure-fire way to accelerate and/or guarantee your results. Sometimes it is someone checking in on a regular basis to see how you are going and holding you accountable.