Did you make your goal list yet? No, not your “new year’s resolution list”, but GOALS people. There is a difference. There is a BIG difference. By the end of reading this you should already be well on your way to a fantastic year and all you have to do first is set your goals!
Let’s face it, that whole resolution crap is just that, crap. You know it and I know it, so lets just move past it and act like adults. What we should be doing instead is thinking about and planning out our goals.
Goals are things we plan on achieving. They are worded differently than “dreams”, they have power behind them, and writing them down is proven to increase the probability that you will achieve them. Not typing them in an online planner or writing something down in your Google Docs, I’m talking about taking out a sheet of paper and a pen and writing them down.
This is not just folly or conjecture. There has been research behind this with demonstrated success and results. I am a big fan of a man named Jordan Peterson. Google him and try and listen to some of his lectures. A professor at Toronto University, Peterson has done extensive work with the practice of writing down your thoughts and ambitions. A summary of his work in this field is explained in greater deal HERE. The point is, somebody on the internet didn’t invent this concept last week.
Once upon a time when I was going through a really rough spot I had determined that rather than focus outward on what perceived evils the horrible mean world had perpetrated against me, I would focus on myself and what changes I needed to make. I realized that the only person on the planet I had the absolute power to control and manipulate was none other than ME. In this instance, I had never heard a single word of Anthony Robbins or Jordan Peterson, or any others who are big on the list making thing, I just thought it would be a good idea. I took a red dry erase marker and went into the bathroom and wrote down a list of goals I had.
It wasn’t January 1st and they weren’t resolutions. Every day I would have to confront my own goals and be accountable for them as I brushed my teeth morning and night. I woke up looking at them and I went to bed with them fresh in my mind. That was my first experience with goal setting and I totally winged it. The whole process just made sense to me regardless of how rudimentary my approach to it was.
Fast forward a couple years and I came across the same concept from a dear friend and somebody I have an immense amount of personal respect for. He was speaking on the value of preparing annual goals, writing them down, sharing them with those who you trust to hold you accountable, then executing them. ( His name is Matt Arroyo and you should pause for a moment to make sure you have his blog bookmarked and you are following him on facebook ) . Since starting this with much more focus and deliberation I am proud to say I have achieved far more in my life than ever before.
Goals don’t have to be these fantastical feats of great achievement. If you have never climbed a mountain then perhaps setting a goal of climbing Mt Everest by the conclusion of 2017 might be a bit steep (pun intended). I remember last year I set a goal of reading 5 books for the year (previously I had read NONE). I am happy to say I read six books all of which contributed to expanding my knowledge (no fiction!!) and helping me improve upon a variety of aspects of my life.
If I had not thought about what I wanted to accomplish, then taken the time to write them down on paper, and then share them with a few select individuals to assist me in being accountable for them, who knows if I would have even read one book!
More than just knowing your goals, it helps dramatically if you know how you plan to achieve them. When I said I was going to read five books in 2017 I accompanied that goal with a smaller goal that I knew would help me achieve the reading. For me, getting up 30 minutes earlier every day to make sure I read each and every morning while having my coffee, was a smaller goal that helped me exceed my bigger goal of reading five books. If you don’t have a clue how you will get to a destination then how can you reasonably expect to get there? Think about what you want to achieve and once you determine the steps to get there you have just identified a number of smaller goals to add to your list.
Just as important as writing down these goals is sharing them with somebody. There must be purpose to this part as well. This is where accountability comes into play. The process of writing down your goals then sharing them with the person mentally absent character sitting next to you on the subway would be considered less than ideal. Your accountability partner is just that, a partner who respects you and your desire for improvement and will absolutely hold you accountable.
Now. Yes, I mean it. As soon as you finish reading this article, and subsequently sharing it on your facebook page of course so all your friends can benefit as well, you should grab a pen and paper and start goal setting. If you wait, you won’t do it, and that would suck.
What can it hurt?