With New Year’s celebrations barely in the rear view mirror, it’s time to sort some things out when it comes to resolutions or goals. First and foremost, how many of these goals/resolutions were made as an “I want” list? Which are really important? Which have staying power?
I have this thing about resolutions. I don’t make them. To me, a resolution is made on a whim, usually vague, and often only answers the question: did you make any New Year’s resolutions? Worse is the massive statistical data showing us that no one sticks to them. In fact, in a landmark study by the University of Scranton, just 8% of people keep their resolution(s). And to make things worse, most have given up by the second Friday after Jan 1. That’s today!
I prefer to set goals, totally understanding that this could just a semantic thing. Your resolution could be as thought out or planned as my goal. Usually, however, that is not the case. While I’m not the author of, or completely immersed into the SMART goal thing, I like the idea that there’s more than just wishing in the goal setting/achieving mechanism. According to SMART people, your goals should be S (specific), M (measurable), A (achievable), R (relevant), and T (time bound). I believe you also need to create an action plan for a goal, understand potential obstacles, and have awareness concerning your strengths around that goal and the resources available.
More important than any of those components, I think the goals most likely accomplished are the ones that are important to us (DUH…). If a goal is important, even loved, it is much more likely that we will do the things that have to be done to see them to the finish line. Most goals are like your first skiing lesson, you improve quickly and enthusiasm peaks. Then we hit, what Seth Godin calls, the dip. All of a sudden, improvement slows, interest wanes. At that time, maybe I’ll call it the Half-Life of your goal, you either push through, or give up. Well, here is the big point, if it’s not important, it’s easier to give up.
The answer? Let’s figure out what’s really important to us. Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk believes that one of the reasons he is so successful is that he understands that 99% of what happens to us, stresses us, angers us, doesn’t matter. The key is knowing what’s important. THAT is about self-awareness. A topic for another time.
So, it’s the second Friday. Are you still in? What’s the Half-Life on your goals?