If you are like me, you are seeing many emails and articles about setting goals in the new year. As I read a few of these insights and reflect on my personal experience and experience with leaders in setting goals, here are a few nuggets:
- 80% of New Year’s resolutions are dropped by Super Bowl Sunday
- The two main obstacles to setting and achieving goals are 1) biting off more than we can chew, i.e., too many goals, and 2) not recognizing what it takes to implement or execute our goals.
Advice for setting goals: Narrow it down to a few key goals and make sure you are really committed to these goals. Ask yourself, “Am I excited and passionate about this goal?” or is it an “I really should lose weight” type of goal that you’ve had for the past five years. Make your goal specific and measurable. Reducing stress, and improving productivity are vague goals. Ask yourself what will be different about your stress or your productivity by 2017 and measure it. Find a way to visualize your goal – through drawing it, a key word or making a picture collage out of clip art images. We remember images more than words and the visual can be a motivator.
Advice for executing on your goals: Break it down and check it periodically. What steps will it take? What can I start on today? What is one thing I could do to get moving on this goal? Start with baby steps and keep at it. Have an accountability partner that is someone who will challenge you to keep at your goal. Examine the emotions around making the change and recognize that our decisions and our habits are driven by our emotions.
And reward yourself for small and big wins.