Overcome Obstacles – Achieve Goals

Be Smart in 2013

On Thanksgiving I suggested that you take a look at the positive changes that had occurred in your life during 2012.  The specific questions I posed were as follows:

turkey colors

  • What positive changes have I made this year?
  • What have I learned about myself that I didn’t know before?  How can I benefit from this knowledge going forward into the next year?
  • How have I grown as a person?
  • What am I most proud of?

For  some people these questions are easy to answer, for others, nearly impossible.  Why is that?  I will let you figure that out yourself, lest I sound critical.  Regardless of  how easy or hard it was for you to answer  these questions, it’s time to look forward.

New Years is known for celebration, big parties and extra special nights out.  For some, it means staying home, snug in bed watching the ball in time square drop signaling the start of the new year.  It is also the time that we are charged with making “new year’s resolutions.”   Most new years resolutions are rumored to be broken by January 2 (OK maybe not that soon).  What does that say about the resolutions?  Perhaps, the goals were too large, too unrealistic or simply were not made in good faith. Many people skip the humiliation of breaking their new year’s  resolution by opting out of  the process. Times_Square_ball

I  prefer to look upon new years as one of many opportunities for self-reflection and goal setting.  The questions I posed to you at Thanksgiving are an example of reflecting on the past year.  Understanding where your thought processes are at the very moment you are ready to set goals is so important.

Let’s look at one of the more common new year’s resolutions: loosing weight.   Perhaps you make this resolution every year of your life and fail to reach your ideal weight year after year after year.     Why does this happen?  Ask yourself:

  • Since last year have I changed anything in my thought process  about loosing weight?
  • Have I researched a new method of obtaining my weight loss goals?
  • Do I really want to commit to healthier eating?

If you answer no to these questions, there is a likelihood that you will not succeed in the coming years either.    The reason why  is summed up nicely in this famous quote  by Anthony Robbins:

“If you do what you have always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten”  

In other words, to reach a goal that you have failed to reach in the past, I few things have to happen:

  1.  Figure out why you have failed in the past.
  2. Develop a new approach to solving the problem
  3. Be ready to make a change by believing in your ability to succeed.
  4. Find support  and encouragement from friends, relatives and/or groups

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal. Nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong attitude.  Thomas Jefferson

Last of all, make SMART goals. (Paul J. Meyer).    SMART is an acronym which is  broken down as follows:

  • S   Specific
    • goals should be as specific as possible.  A specific goal will address the  who, what, where, when & hows of attaining the goal.
      • I will join the weight loss program at my gym on January 15.  I will register for the program online from my home computer.
  • M Measurable  
    • A good goal is one that can be  measured,  by adding  a number amount, date or other type of measure to the goal statement.
      • I will lose 5 pounds by February 5. 
  • A  Attainable 
    • A goal should be one that can realistically be accomplished.  A weight loss goal of 5 pounds in one month is attainable whereas a weight loss of 20 pounds in a month may not be. Setting unattainable goals will only lead to failure and  cause a blow to your self-esteem.
  • R  Relevant
    • Does it make sense in regards to your current situation (time, place, emotional state,etc.)
      • If you have a month filled with business dinners, this should be taken into account when setting weight loss goals.
  • T Timebound
    • set a time frame in which you will reach a goal.  It is helpful to set many small sequential goals rather than make one large goal.
      • I will lose 5 pounds in the first month (Feb. 5)
      • I will lose 1 pound per week until I reach my goal of a 20 pound weight loss.

             A goal is a dream with a deadline.  Napolean Hill

Using this framework for goal setting requires us to think rationally about what we hope to achieve in a given segment of time.    So, in the days ahead when you start to reflect on the changes  within yourself  which you wish to work on , remember to be SMART.

The establishment of a clear,central purpose or goal in life is the starting point of all success.” – Brian Tracy 

HAPPY NEW YEARS TO YOU!!!

MH900021653

References

http://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddisalvo/2012/08/07/the-10-reasons-why-we-fail/print/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMART_criteria

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Times_Square  (photo)

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