New Year’s Resolutions do not seem to work. I stopped making them a long time ago. Instead of Resolutions, I encourage you to make goals. What is the difference? Let me explain.
Resolutions make you resolve to do something right? You will hold fast to that idea of losing weight or starting that creative project. Maybe you resolve to paint more or go to church more. These are all great aspirations, do not get me wrong, but the idea of being resolute in something simply means you make a firm decision to create that habit or change that behavior. This idea bugs me a little.
First it lacks specificity. So, you want to paint more. What does that mean? Paint a portrait of your Mom? Paint three times a week? It is nebulous at best. Second, to be firm means you lack flexibility, right? What if you get into ‘Painting more’ and realize what you really want to do is spend more time doing things for yourself that feel creative instead of sitting on the couch watching The Bachelor and constantly refreshing your Facebook feed on your phone.
Goals are a bit different. Goals put a marker down. They require specificity. And when Failing at achieving your goals, you learn something you may not have expected.
At the top of the year, I like to set a few BIG goals. Once I have the big goals. I set smaller goals that function as steps towards the larger goal. For example, I want to create content each week for mickmontgomery.com. This is a a specific goal. This site is a blog. If I want to create content for it each week, I should probably write blogs each week. The Goal is simple, but it is attainable and measureable; however, I can refine it further. I can set a simpler parameter in the beginning. I will try to create content for mickmontgomery.com each week for the Month of January. This is a simpler starting point. I can have the bigger goal of creating content each week for the site, but I am going to do it for January, just so I can see how things work out by the end of the month and determine how I need to adjust expectations or re-group.
Maybe you want to start a Podcast this year! Great idea. Podcasts are hard work, but definitely rewarding! So, what would a first step be towards starting a podcast? Maybe, you set a simple goal. I need to learn how to podcast! Then you can perhaps examine a course online or series of videos on how to podcast. From that step you will create more steps towards getting your show up and running!
This system also applies to the old fitness resolutions you like to make. I am notorious for failing at these! So, instead of resolving to lose weight in 2016. I decided to set a goal. I want to get to a certain weight level (260 lbs). I want to be able to do 100 Push Ups in a row. I want to be able to do 200 free Squats in a row. I want to be able to run a 5K. These goals are specific. So, how do I break them down into smaller steps to get to that point.
First, let us examine that goal of losing 260 lbs. What is the first step towards weight loss? I buy the right groceries. Wait, what? That’s right. I back off the goals for the year down to something simpler. If I want to lose weight. I need Nutritious food to eat. I give it a week on eating well. See where I get. Maybe by the end of January, I can adjust or re-assess my goal of dropping down to 260. Maybe I will think I could lose more weight in 2016.
Let’s take the next one. I want to be able to run a 5K! I currently cannot, so I will download a Couch to 5K plan. Once that is done. I will look at what I need to do day one and accomplish that goal.
This process can be best boiled down to a few questions? What is the Goal you want to set for 2016? What is first step towards achieving that goal? Focus on the first step, and getting that accomplished. Then set the next step as a goal and knock that out in a timeline that seems reasonable.
This approach allows me to feel less overwhelmed by the size and scope of my goal, and allows me the opportunity to focus on the smaller steps and continue one step at time. This plays into a great mantra I heard recently. Discipline creates discipline. The more success you have in knocking out each step. The more confident you will become that you can set other large goals and also attain those. This is the system I put in place to create Spazbot Studios. A Studio that literally started from nothing in 2014 and now as we go into 2016 sees thousands and thousands of downloads each month with four shows producing episodes each week generating some nice income for the creators involved.
You can be as successful with you goals, but following this simple process. I hope this helps you start your 2016 off with a bang! Stay Motivated. Make your goals specific. Keep the steps simple and keep your perspective.