Reclaiming and reframing unhealthy goal setting practices
The clock hits 12 a.m., the champagne has popped, streamers are dancing, you are screaming, the hugs are flowing, “Happy New Year.” You have made it. Last year becomes a blur as you focus on the road ahead. Five months later it’s May, most of the goals and plans that you have set out for the year have not come to fruition, and you begin to lose some of that drive. Motivation and energy levels are fleeting and the “new year new me” mantra is becoming a distant memory. Sound familiar? Well first of all let me say that you are not alone and there is nothing wrong with this scenario. It is a choice and we are all welcome to make it. But I for one was tired of creating goals and resolutions year after year, falling off the wagon and pressing repeat when the new year rolled around. So how do you work past this new year, new me way of looking at a new year and your life? Also, how do you push past the months of inactivity or unaccomplished goals? You move from Resolution to Revolution. Not the type of revolution that involves radical, or societal involvement. I am talking about the revolution that is defined by a sudden, complete or marked change in something. So, let’s talk about it.
Place less emphasis on dates and more emphasis on deadlines or timely mannered goals
- When the clock struck 12 a.m., it almost forced the thinking or thoughts that you needed to become a new person, that the person you showed up as somehow expired at 12 a.m. Cinderella much? Sometimes dates are key, for example when the first of a month lands on a Monday I always geek out and find that so cool. But things do not need to start on the first. Try to create deadlines and time-emphasized goals. An example; “I will have… in 2 months. 2 months will be July 27th 2019. This goal is timely and gives you a deadline. When goals are framed this way, the emphasis is on the goal rather than the time, because your time is based on the goal and not the other way around.
Stage goals and plans for the year according to the seasons or quarters.
- Most resolutions are made to last all year, they are not quite defined and could take all 12 months to accomplish. I have gotten into the habit of creating yearly, quarterly and monthly goals. Each goal is broken down further and further. This way, it creates a timeline and also breaks things down into steps. This puts less stress on your goals as well as yourself. I mean who could use a decrease in stress? *raises hand* Seasons are in reference to the change in weather, i.e.; spring, summer, fall and winter. And quarters are every three months i.e.; January-March, April-June, July-September, October-December.
Reframe your resolutions to add value.
- Resolutions are meant to be goals or plans but the word itself implies finality as well as “answers” or “solutions.” How many times have you made a resolution and it was made with the intent of “solving” something that you thought was maybe wrong, or addressing something that you did not like? I’m sure you can see the dangers where that is concerned. In the past I would create resolutions and they were plans that I would make that would somehow solve problems. That’s a lot of pressure on that poor resolution. Goals and plans are made to highlight and add value to you or your life or your business or aspects of your life. Shift your thoughts from Resolution (solution) to Goals/Plans (adding value).
An unaccomplished goal is a learning experience.
- Once December rolls around it is common for us to begin to reflect and remember certain resolutions that we made that we may not have even remembered as well as resolutions that we “failed” at or were unsuccessful at meeting. Sometimes we press repeat and we add those things to the list of new resolutions and sometimes their importance expires. The added value of plans and goals that were unsuccessful or that weren’t met by their deadlines are opportunities to learn. They give you an opportunity to ask questions like “why didn’t I finish… on time” “what stopped me from accomplishing this when I said that I would”? Using these as lessons gives you an opportunity to reflect and make changes if necessary.
Goal setting and revolution making is all about change, planning and setting timely goals. Use this time to create those goals using some of the tips listed. Let’s move away from the Resolution-making to creating goals and plans that add value and promote change done right, just the way you like. Because your life is all about you. Share some of your goal setting practices.