By Paying Attention Now, We Will Become the Best Version of Ourselves
With the holidays over and the new year well underway, it’s a great time to examine our goals for the coming year. Planning out our goals is a crucial step in achieving success in any area of our lives, but it’s a process that many don’t treat with the tenacity and respect it deserves. Without well-thought-out plans, laser focus and action, our goals are simply dreams.
The good news is that plotting out solid daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals isn’t all that difficult. With the Theory of 5 philosophy, I have found that, when setting goals worthy of achieving, it’s important to keep three points in mind:
Our Goals Must be Specific
A vague goal is next to useless because it doesn’t give us a worthwhile target to achieve. “Losing some weight,” “making more sales” or any other “it would be nice if…” goal isn’t going to get us where we need to go. If our goal is to “lose some weight this year,” did we hit our target if we lost 20 pounds? Five pounds? An ounce?
A specific goal allows us to measure our success (or know when it’s time to up our effort). It also supports us in making the plans that will guide us in hitting our target. If we want to raise our sales percentage by 20%, we can quickly determine how many more calls we need to make and clients we need to meet with each day, week and month.
This also has the benefit of allowing us to keep track of our progress. If a month goes by and we aren’t on the path to meeting our objective, we can quickly make adjustments (either to our plan or to our actions and behaviors) to get back on track.
Our Goals Must be Achievable (But Not “Easy”)
Setting unrealistic goals will derail our plans early on in the process. Using the weight example, if we plan to lose 50 pounds this month, in most cases we’re setting ourselves up for failure. If we’ve been selling 10 cars a month and decide we’re going to sell 60 in the next 30 days, we’re probably going to be disappointed.
For a goal to have power, it must be something that’s achievable with extreme but realistic effort and actions. It’s absolutely important to set goals that require us to stretch our daily actions, attitudes and behaviors to meet them. Losing a half a pound a month is better than gaining one, to be sure, but we’re not going to hit a worthwhile goal at that rate. There’s power in striving for something almost out of reach. Our goals should be aspirational, but not unattainable.
Our Goals Must be Relevant
We’re going to put a lot of time, effort and energy in reaching for our audacious goal, so it had better be one that’s going to enrich our lives in some way. If we’re working toward a goal that we simply don’t care about, our energy is better put to another use.
To ensure the goal we’ve set is relevant, let’s take a moment to imagine how we’ll feel when you reach it. Will it improve our life? Our family’s life? Is it worth it? If the answer is “yes,” then we proceed. If it’s not, it’s time to reassess. Maybe the plan needs work. Maybe our goals need to be adjusted. Or, maybe, it’s time to reevaluate the path our life is on.
Keeping on the Path
My Theory of 5 mentors and I have also found that there are steps we can take along the way to keep us on the path to our goals. These steps include:
• Surrounding ourselves with people who support and encourage our goals and vision
• Spending less time with or eliminating the negative people in our lives
• Adding new skills and habits that will support us in achieving our goals
Goals provide the road map for our lives. I promise that investing time into planning these goals will support us in becoming the best versions of ourselves. Let’s use these tools to make 2020 our best year yet.