Oh, new year’s resolutions. How we love them. Come January 1st, we eagerly sit down at our table with our journal, our computer or our post-it notes and begin. We love to see what great things we are going to think of do this year and how easy it will be to do them. We write a “list”. It’s a list of resolutions. A list of things we want to do this next year – sometimes its long, sometimes its short but its a list never the less.
We look at the ceiling with thoughtful eyes, we glaze over while trying to breathe, thinking of the million things we want to do with our lives and how to possibility put it all on one list, OR we stare at the blank paper and stare some more while coming up with, well, nothing. Nada. Damn, I can’t remember that goal I thought of in July, hmmm perhaps I should have of written it down.
We finally jot a few things down. We have the LIST! AHA! Sure, maybe these items on the list might be what some people call “vague” but, hey, all the books say that as long as I write down my goals then that’s all I need to do to start the ball rolling to accomplish them. In fact, it’s guaranteed!
Now, here is a secret. There is ONE goal, one objective, one resolution that shows up on almost every one of our lists. You KNOW what it is, c’mon… you know you have it on yours, if not this year then in years past…It’s the favourite, The KING. The goal to end all goals….”LOSE WEIGHT”. Ahhhhhh, there it is! In black and white! YES! It’s the thought that trumps all others when we sit down with our blank piece of paper. “Lose Weight”. It sounds so noble doesn’t it? So exciting! If I just do this ONE thing, all the other things in my life will fall into place and BOOM, I will be…..drum rolllll….happy!!
Don’t ask me how losing weight equals happiness but that is, after all, perhaps for another day, another story. Let’s go back to those two words. Lose weight. I am totally going to use this beauty as a shining example of how NOT to write goals!!
That’s right! I said NOT! When we write a resolution or goal on our list saying LOSE WEIGHT, what exactly does that mean? Is it 2lbs? 20lbs? 200? Do you have to whole year to lose 2lbs? Do you have one month to lose 20? Does it mean an inch off your waist? Or 5 inches? How are you going to do it? Does it magically start happening because you wrote it down?
To “lose weight” is more than vague. It’s a two word goal that will be lost before it begins. It has no measures, no specifics, no time given, no reason. When a goal or resolution is vague and not measurable there is absolutely no way it will ever be accomplished.
So…how do we turn this “lose weight” goal into something attainable? Something to work toward and focus on? First of all, you need to get very, VERY specific. What do I mean by that? Well, you figure out exactly HOW much weight you wish to lose. You give it a specific number. You figure out an exact timeline (realistic please!) for accomplishing this. You write down a result you WANT more than anything.
And, most importantly of all, you figure out your WHY. This becomes your leverage. Your undying push to do the things you need to do even when it hard, when it seems out of reach. Your WHY is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing that keeps you driven to succeed, so its gotta be GOOD. Its gotta be life and death, its gotta be the WOW factor that wakes you up at 6am on a winter’s morning to get your ass to a fitness class even though all you want to do is sleep. This is the reason that drives you every day, all day. It’s what keeps you up, it’s what juices you!
So, Let’s play a game. I love games! Take a look at the following two different lists below. Which list do you think is going to be the one that gets accomplished?
My resolutions for 2016:
My Goals for 2016 that I will accomplish no matter what!!
So what do you think? Pretty obvious to guess that by January 10th, Betty’s resolution list will be a dim memory sitting under a pile of papers on her desk and Janet? WOW. Now THAT is how it’s done!
I encourage you to sit down this week. Scratch out those vague resolutions and write down your Goals like you’ve never written them before! Go for it! You will be amazed at what you can accomplish!
Happy New Year and cheers to you and your new results-oriented, leveraged, kick ass goals!