Have you had the usual start to 2020 – resolutions made and goals set? And as the end of January fast approaches, how are you travelling?
If there hasn’t been much progress, resist the temptation to ditch it all, and perhaps opt for the ‘refresh’ button instead.
What does this involve?
Be clear on the “Why” behind your goals.
Take a good look at what you’ve set, and ask “Why is this outcome important to me?” If the answer is that it’s what my company or my partner wants, this probably isn’t enough.
For a goal to motivate you it must relate to you personally. That is, it must relate to your aspirations, life priorities and values. Relate these goals to your everyday activity.
For example, if your goal is wanting to lose weight, maybe this is important so you can run around with the kids. Or, maybe you need to improve your fitness to finish the Milford Sound trek. In this way, our goals become about being fitter and healthier rather than just ‘losing weight’.
Try writing your goal as a positive statement, using the SMART framework mentioned in previous posts here. Then, describe why it’s important to you, and specifically how you will feel when you’ve achieved it.
Go for “small wins”
You may have started with a clear and motivational goal, but sometimes progress can be very slow. If this is the case, you may need to create or revise your action plan.
List all the steps involved in getting to that goal, and break them down into specific actions and time frames. If you’ve missed a step to date, revise the time frame and break it down into smaller, even micro steps – which are realistically achievable in magnitude and time frame. And remember to notice and celebrate the steps you’ve taken so far..
Build in some Flex
If taking any action feels impossible, then take a good, open minded look at what’s getting in the way. Are you prioritising work, or maybe you need to develop further skills?
If so, then acknowledge these and include action steps to help you work through them. It may involve finding and using new tools, or some further training, coaching or support. The Covey Time Management Matrix is a useful way to improve your time management, and learn to prioritise your goal.
Your 2020 goal probably started as a clear and motivating aim. It is now time to take stock of what you have achieved so far – and potentially proceed with taking some action in a new direction. You also need to celebrate successes, and accept that there may be roadblocks and detours along the way. However, if you choose to keep going despite these detours, your resilience and perseverance will continue to develop, as will your successes.
In the words of basketball legend Michael Jordan – “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
If you treat your setbacks as opportunities to grow, there is no reason why you shouldn’t in 2020 as well.
Our Psych Up! resources in January focus on how to keep the momentum going. Make sure to stay tuned for our weekly blog post updates, as well as our podcasts and webinars.