The new year’s almost here, and it’s an exciting opportunity to make resolutions, keep them, and grow. In a past blog post we talked about how to set goals with the SMART PATH system, which encourages setting achievable goals, and working through them by focusing on the journey, not the destination. Another part of this journey-first mentality for achieving goals is reviewing and renewing—looking back at your commitments and refreshing them. It helps you do three important things: Get some direction, reset your resolve, and prioritize.
Get Some Direction
Without direction, it’s easy to bounce from project to project and not follow through. When that happens, life can feel… meh. When you’re facing thousands of options and can’t decide what to do, it’s time to review your goals to get a road map. Set some time during the year to look back at what you wanted to accomplish, and pick one or two things to get yourself back on track.
Reviewing is also a great time to check if your goals are convergent, meaning your effort goes in one direction instead of splitting up. If you have a lot of fitness milestones you want to hit this year, but also want to watch every title on Netflix, you might be working against yourself.
Reset Your Resolve
If, later in the year, your promise to keep your closet neat and tidy has fallen by the wayside, renewing can take motivation out of the equation. Taking time to look at what you want to accomplish–and deciding to do it no matter what—keeps you focused on the journey and the destination.
Don’t forget to use a growth mindset. On days when you don’t keep your promises to yourself, you haven’t failed. You just haven’t succeeded yet!
I’m sure I’m not the only person to decide I’m going to get six-pack abs, figure out my finances, and write a thousand-page novel all in the same year. When you have more goals than you can reasonably tackle, it’s time to prioritize. Write a list of what you want to achieve. Then, make sure you’re putting your effort where it counts.
When you find something that doesn’t fit, you can put it on your “Not Doing” list. This is where you store ideas and goals until the time is right. While something is on the “Not Doing” list, you don’t have to spend time or energy on it. Put things on the list for a certain amount of time, or indefinitely. This list is great to look over when reviewing, too!
Once you’ve done your reviewing and renewing,try using a Kaizen approach to achieving goals. The Kaizen approach focuses on small, consistent changes, tracking your progress, and regular reviews. If you dine out for every meal, and your goal is to eat home-cooked food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you could start by replacing breakfast first. Track your progress with a meal planning app or journal. Then, look over your data as you go to make sure your plans suit your goals.
Whatever you want to achieve in 2021, we hope these tools help you get there. Happy New Year!
Once you have a vision for your company, giving you a long term view into the future, it’s time to set some goals, milestones and next action steps.
Let’s start by looking at how these all fit together. Think of your vision as the view of Earth from space. You see the whole thing, but without any details. Next, your goals, are like flying in a commercial airplane at 35,000 feet. You see the general lay of the land and still see the horizon, but still not many details. Your milestones are like flying in a two-seater plane at 10,000 feet. You just see the horizon, but most of your sight is filled with the features on the land. Your next action steps are at ground level. You’re very focused on the details, on what’s right in front of you.
So set goals with the vision in mind, set milestones with the goal in mind and set action steps with the milestone in mind.
What was the last thing you did that was worth remembering?
If you’re struggling to come up with something recent, perhaps it’s time to reconsider how you are going through life. Usually it takes some action on your part to make something memorable happen. So let’s start with this question, “What would I like to remember at the end of the year?” Now lets get to how to create goals to make that a reality.
If you feel overwhelmed looking at your life as a whole, use a wheel of life to look at different areas of your life and what to create in each area of life. Use the pdf as a guide. wheel-of-life-example-and-blank
Start with how things are now. Mark on the wheel how satisfied you are with how much time you are spending in each category. Notice that this can vary for each person. So for one person, spending time with family is very important. They spend about 30 hours a week with family, but still want more. They feel 85% satisfied with the time they are spending with family. Another person finds family time less important, so even though they only spend about 5 hours a week catching up with family, they are 100% happy with the time they spend with their family. So it’s not about how much time you spend in any one area, it’s how satisfied you are with that amount of time. Your aim is to be 100% happy with the amount of time you are spending in each of the categories.
It’s extraordinary how much of our lives are run by our habits. It’s our choice which actions we allow to become habits, although many habits are formed unconsciously. The trick to make life easier is to run supportive habits, rather than bad habits. Charles Duhigg’s book, “The Power of Habit” has an excellent and easy to understand model of how habits are formed and operate. Stephen Covey’s book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” talks about general strategies to live by in order to be effective. These books are all very good in theory, but how can we apply the theories to every day living?
Here are a few ideas in different areas of the house that have made my life easier over the years.
In the kitchen: I admit, the kitchen is not my favorite place to be. I go there because I have to eat and I have to feed my family. I don’t love pouring over recipes finding the next cool taste explosion. I don’t have a million little gadgets for shredding this and that or spiraling those, or whatever else they all do. I prefer to get to know a recipe well and then make it by approximation from memory, because when I do a new recipe, it takes me ages to read and do, read and do. I also hate cleaning up in the kitchen. My worst nightmare is when all the pots and pans have been used, they’re spread all around the kitchen, a dozen chopping boards are out, miscellaneous forks, spoons, knives that were used in the cooking process are sprinkled around. In short, it’s a disaster. It seems so overwhelming to have to clean up at the end of the day.