It’s that time of year again when we reflect back on the year that was and start looking forward to the year ahead and what we hope it will be. Are you great at making New Year Resolutions but fall terribly short on actually accomplishing them? “Should have – could have” is the theme song of losers. Break out of that mould this year and learn to be a winner. Stop making resolutions! As Pete Drucker once said, “Wishing and hoping won’t make it so. Miracles are great but they are so unpredictable. You just never know when one will come along.”
Do you have what it takes to stay the course?
Making a list and setting goals is easy. Putting a plan together to achieve those goals is a step in the right direction. Getting started and working your plan is the hard part. It takes the discipline and stamina of a long-distance runner to hang in there until you reach the finish line. Do you have what it takes to stay the course?
Unfortunately we live in a world of instant gratification
According to a recent study, only 10% of those who make a list of New Year’s Resolutions actually achieve them. I’m not totally surprised by those findings. We live in a world of instant gratification. We want what we want and we want it right now. Instant credit – video on demand – mail-order diplomas, smart phones and text messaging have conditioned us to expect instant payoffs. What-ever happened to putting together a SMART target and working your plan to accomplish your goal?
We are in danger of raising a generation of under-achievers
We are in danger of raising a generation of under-achievers. Have we made it too easy for our children to acquire those kinds of things that we had to work hard for? It’s natural for parents to want their children to have an easier life – after all – our parents did the same for us. But in our rush to ensure our kids a better life, did we forget to instill in them a good work ethic? Did we forget to teach them that nothing replaces hard work? That most worthwhile things in life don’t come easy, and that you have to apply yourself to get ahead?
Learn to set SMART Targets to accomplish your goals
Don’t feel disheartened – It’s not too late. All we need to do is teach people how to set SMART targets to achieve their goals. We need to tell them to stop wishing and hoping and start putting a plan together that will get them what they want. This year – set yourself some SMART targets.
S – Specific: Write down what it is you want to achieve. Don’t generalize. You’ve got to name it to claim it. A good goal needs to be specific. A wish is a goal with a plan. I want to lose weight is a wish. I want to lose 20 pounds and here’s how I’m going to do it – is a goal with a plan.
M – Measure: You’ve got to be able to measure your progress. Break it down into small steps. What results do you expect to see in a day, a week, a month? How far along in accomplishing your goal will you be in 6 months time? If you can’t measure it – don’t do it. If you aren’t going to measure how do you know if you have the right plan?
A – Attainable: Don’t set a target that you don’t believe you can meet. You’ve got to believe that the hard work will be worth it. Don’t set yourself up for failure.
R – Realistic: To lose 20 pounds in a week might not be healthy or realistic. To lose one pound per week may be more in line. Don’t expect too much all at once. Be patient. If you are willing to put in the time and hard work you will accomplish your goal. Remember – It’s a marathon – not a sprint.
T – Time-Based: An expected date of completion is a great motivator. It creates a sense of urgency to help you guard against procrastination.
Stop making New Year’s Resolutions
So stop making New Years Resolutions and start setting “SMART” targets instead. Believe in yourself. Believe that there is nothing you can’t accomplish once you put your mind to it. Life is a planned event. Have a plan – and work your plan. Make 2012 your break-out year.