Mark Twain said he could teach anyone how to get what they want; he just couldn’t find anyone who truly knew what they wanted. I agree. Most people don’t know what it is they really want to achieve. They often know what they don’t want, but then that’s where their focus and energy goes—to what they don’t want.
Being unclear on exactly what you want is one of the biggest stumbling blocks to success. If you’re not achieving the success you desire, there’s a good chance that you haven’t really defined what you want.
1. What do you want your life to look like? Think about where you want to be one year from today—financially, physically, mentally, spiritually, places you want to visit, relationships you want to build and things you want to do. Brainstorm big ideas…don’t limit your thinking. You will be surprised at what you can accomplish in a year with the right focus and commitment.
Think about including your spouse – my wife and I recently sat down with a blank piece of paper and brainstormed everything we’re hoping to accomplish as a couple next year. Then we took a 12-month paper calendar and starting dropping notes, ideas and tasks onto various months based on “when” we wanted to make things happen. This simple exercise creates momentum, improves communication and ensures that both of us are working out of the same playbook!
2. Why is this important? List all of the specific benefits of achieving each goal. What happens to you and your world when you accomplish this goal? If the benefits aren’t compelling, you will find yourself abandoning the goal at the first hint of a headwind. If the benefits aren’t clearly defined, you could knock yourself out for something only to discover it’s something you never really wanted in the first place.
3. Determine the daily dose. How much do you need to do each day to reach your goal? How many calls, ounces, miles, dollars, presentations or calories will it take? Start small…experience success and build some momentum. Don’t set yourself up for failure by creating unrealistic expectations (losing 10lbs a week) or writing a check you can’t cover (making 50 new contacts every day).
4. Surround yourself with accountability partners. Find others in your life that you trust to be honest with you (you’re not looking for a professional cheerleader). Share your written goals with them and explain the benefits you’re hoping to enjoy. Give them a copy of your plan and then schedule regular conversations to discuss progress, explore challenges and celebrate the small victories.
It’s easy to fool yourself into not working on a goal (I’m too tired, cold, hungry, sad, hurt, or grumpy) – but it’s much harder to fool others who are invested in your success.
Call to action!
Want to make 2017 a year to remember? Then decide right now where you want to be next January and start creating a plan to get there. I’ve given you some useful ideas – the rest is up to you!