Happy New Year folks!
Okay, so I’m a bit late with that one. All of my intentions for a great start to 2018 went by the wayside when illness struck our household before Christmas and continued into January. Then lack of self-motivation followed and suddenly we will shortly be in February and I’m only just saying hello.
So I’m going to rectify that with a whole week of posts dedicated to setting and hitting goals. Now, I know you will have seen a glut of articles and blogs on this very topic at the beginning of the month but be honest, are you kicking ass with your new year’s resolutions or are you already flagging and wondering what you signed up for?
I’ve come up with 5 steps to getting the most out of my goals, and I hope you can use this too, whether they are to change daily habits or take a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Today we’re going to cover the basics.
1 Lay the foundations
If you don’t know who you are, how can you know what you want?
Forget all this “New Year New You” business. It’s a myth that you can become a different person overnight. One that can hit the gym every day, say no to chocolate cake, and climb Kilimanjaro.
If you haven’t guessed by the title of this post, before you set out to change anything in your life you need to focus on you. What do you want to change and why? Are you doing it for the right reasons? Are you setting the right goal or should you approach it from a different angle?
Part 1: Start by getting down on paper everything in your head that you want to introduce into your life or just aren’t happy with right now, from the dishes always being left until the next day (or week!), to needing to repaint the outside of the house, to learning a new skill. Perhaps you’ve already come up with your 18 for 2018 or 40 before 40 or torn a list from a magazine. However you do it, take whatever time you need. An hour, a day, or start it off and add items to your list over a week.
Also ask yourself why you want to change these things. Try the 5 Whys technique.
The 5 whys technique is a method of getting to the root of a problem quickly. It was introduced to the manufacturing industry by Sakichi Toyoda, the founder of Toyota, in the 1930’s. It became big in the 1970s and remains a useful tool today.
It’s very simple. If your goal is a traditional one to, say, lose weight. Ask yourself why. Your answers may be along the lines of:
- Why? My clothes don’t fit
- Why? I gained weight
- Why? I was eating too many takeaways
- Why? I couldn’t be bothered cooking
- Why? I felt too tired
After asking these questions, it may be that your goal has now changed, so here, the goal would be to be less tired with the outcome being that you can cook and eat healthier meals and the benefit being that your healthier meals mean that you lose weight.
Part 2: Okay, so you’ve got your list. How many of those things did you try to achieve last year? What about the year before?
If you had already set resolutions or goals but you’ve already been unable to keep them going, try to understand why. Be honest with yourself. What has stopped you in the past or will stop you from achieving. Ask yourself the tough questions.
- Do I procrastinate? I can do it tomorrow, right? When I move house, then I can make the changes.
- Do I use other people as an excuse not to do something? Only I can cook tea / pick up the shopping / clean the house / wash the car. I’ve got to make sure everyone else is okay before I go out / read a book
- Do I use life events to stop me doing things? I can’t do it on Saturday because I have to attend this. There’s no point starting because I’m going on holiday in 3 weeks
- Am I frightened of failing so give up anyway?
- Is it too expensive?
- Do I choose to make changes because someone else wants support in their goals?
- Am I filling my life being busy doing things that I don’t want to do?
- Do I give up because it becomes too hard? Or do I just think it’s too hard?
- Am I just plain lazy?
Some of your answers will be perfectly valid. If you need to pick the kids up from school, then you can’t be in the gym or channelling your zen on the living room floor.
Write down your barriers to achievement and give yourself a checklist to consider when we approach the next steps, when we’ll be looking at understanding what needs to be done and when.
Write down what needs changing
Determine your whys
Clarify your goals
Understand what will stop you from achieving those goals
See you tomorrow for step 2.
Earworm: It’s all about you, Mcfly.
(Okay, I’m not a big fan but this was the only thing that kept popping into my head as I wrote this post. Enjoy!)