There isn’t a lot more you can say about the New Year holiday that hasn’t already been said. However, one concept is worth repeating every year: choose some goals.
We are in a constant state of contradiction. There is a part of our brain that strives for homeostasis, to have things stay the same, tied to habitual patterns to conserve energy. Comfy.
Luckily, we also get bored and want change and new challenges more in line with who we are or want to be. Sometimes it happens by choice. Sometimes it happens through things like pain, illness and other wake-up calls.
However, if you decide to do something, it generally happens. Think about that: if you make a choice to do something, for whatever reason, somehow something happens inside and out. You direct your actions toward that choice.
Conversely, not making a choice or setting a goal might be a sign of idleness and complacency. At the very least, it’s a sure bet you’ll be right here a year from now. Setting goals doesn’t get near the attention it should for its power to break one free of discontent, cure unhappiness and move us forward.
As a leader, you’re an example for others. Setting goals for yourself is as important, if not more so than setting them for your business or team. The great news is, you aren’t constricted by a form with 100 fields to fill in, or annoying conversations with HR about the difference between a goal and an objective.
Following is a simple method to achieve great things this year:
Write three things you want to do in the form of “I will,” being as specific as possible. For example, “I will run a 1/2 marathon in X time,” “I will get this job at this company,” “I will write three chapters of a book,” or “I will have five outings with the most positive people in my life.” The best goals are ones that:
- Stretch your capabilities
- Are in line with your values
- Are achievable
- Are suited for short-term (weekly or monthly) smaller goals
Next, imagine these goals as if they’ve already happened. Listen to what happens inside: Do you feel excited? Do you feel rewarded? Or, does this goal feel empty? Check and make sure it’s your goal and not someone else’s goal imposed on you.
Keep them visible. It doesn’t matter if they’re on your electronic device or taped to your bathroom mirror, once you make that connection inside and “see” these goals, review them regularly, as they will focus your actions.
Yes, I suppose this is a fancy way of saying, “Create some New Years Resolutions.” But, language is everything isn’t it? “I will” has so much more power. I did this last year, and I’m still shocked how much of it actually happened.
Kick off 2015 with creating three “I will” goals, imagine them completed and see what happens. For five-ten minutes of your time, one thing is for certain: on this date next year, you will look back with a sense of achievement and surprised by what you’re capable of.
“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.” ― Louisa May Alcott