By now, most of us have crafted our list of lofty goals for the new year. Lucky ones among us may even have checked something off that list, say, an item as simple as “lose one pound by end of month” or “remove Christmas tree from living room.”
If your list included similar, easy-to-do items, it may be time to get serious and rethink the reason for making resolutions. There’s a big difference between making a to-do list and making the c-c-c-ommitment to work on some goals. In essence, committing to make a change is what completes the action part of all resolutions.
For instance, if you have resolved to get organized at the office, then what you really need to do is establish exactly what it would take to achieve that utopia. Getting organized is the ultimate goal, but behind it is a long list of things you’ll have to change to make it happen: establishing a new filing system, going paperless, clearing the desk of distractions, etc.
Each step leads to the desired end result, but committing to those changes is the challenge to action. If you take time now to post those adverbs or action items below each goal, you’ll be starting the slow but steady march to completion.
What makes a good, yet achievable goal? Any, and sometimes all, of the following:
- Dreams tempered by realistic thinking. (It’s OK to buy a lottery ticket, but don’t spend your entire paycheck doing so.)
- Specific actions that contribute to the end result. (It’s good to acknowledge that you want to lose weight, but remember there are both physical and mental actions involved in the process.)
- A time frame of some sort. (Leaving goals open-ended means you’re avoiding commitment.)
- Self-discipline. (This means being accountable and making that commitment.)
Where to begin? The best way may be to hold a personal brainstorming session. You’re the only one who knows your dreams, and no matter how lofty the vision, if you put pen to paper with action items and accountability timelines for each dream, you’re taking the first positive steps.
So maybe this is the year, you resolve to make the necessary commitment. If you don’t do it now, you may soon find yourself wondering how it got to be December again.
Please share your goal-setting strategies and successes with us. Leave your comments in the space below. Thank you!