New Years Resolutioners: How many of you run into this problem? You start the year out on a fresh new slate feeling SUPER motivated, with brand new goals of everything you want to accomplish, only to start trickling off and losing steam about a month later? Let’s be honest, some of us don’t even make it to a month, let alone a week. Chances are if you experience this, you’ve probably been left feeling like you may have failed and that trying out new things is just way too hard.
Well I have good news for you - and that's that you’re not a failure, and those goals are not impossible to achieve. In this post we’re going to go over some solutions on how to set goals, and actually stick to them! Let’s dive in.
So why do New Year's Goals seem so problematic for a lot of us?
There’s a lot of reasons that I think factor into it. Some common ones that I often see are that people will set too many goals for themselves, or set too big of a goal right out the gate. This can lead to feeling very overwhelmed, which more often than not encourages people to quit. Other times people will set goals that they don’t really align with, or they don’t really know why they want to do the goal. This is a perfect recipe for starting new goals, and then losing steam on them like we discussed earlier. And other times, people just flat out overcomplicate things. Like I said, a lot of these are very common mistakes that are easily fixable if we just change our angle of approach.
How to conceptualize goals and resolutions
That being said, the first thing I recommend doing is changing how you conceptualize making goals and new years resolutions. This is key for changing how we approach thinking about a goal, and thus how we go about completing it.
Here’s an example of what I mean - Whenever I have something new I want to achieve, I personally try to steer away from making brand new goals for it. Instead I will oftentimes try adding onto ones I already have, or stringing it together with some of my pre existing ones. Doing this is helpful because overall it promotes greater focus and creates more consistency on everything I’m working towards.
I could say “ I need a side hustle to make some extra cash this year” or I could shift my thinking a bit and say “ I want to make some extra cash this year. What skill set can I improve or what other skill sets can I leverage to accomplish this” One of these leans towards only starting something brand new, which again there's nothing wrong with. But the other promotes leveraging pre-existing skills or things you’re already doing, which can make it much easier to jump in and start making progress.
Starting brand new goals
Speaking of jumping and making progress, whenever I do in fact make brand new goals I make sure to give myself several action items to get things going. Think of it this way, how are you going to reach your destination if you don’t have any routes planned out? Setting action items to get done in the beginning and checking them off the list promotes self confidence, and self confidence is one of the strongest influencing factors for a person in achieving their goals. So make sure if you start something new, you plan out some solid first steps to get the ball rolling. Here are 5 steps I typically use whenever I’m starting something new:
Research it: Start finding out about what you want to do
Visualize it: Begin to paint a realistic picture of yourself achieving your goal in your head. The more vividly you see this image, the greater chance of you bringing it to life.
Discuss it: Start talking about your new goal with friends, family, or if you prefer - just with yourself. The whole key is to get yourself comfortable with talking about your goal as though it already exists.
Plan it: Start planning things out for yourself - How are you going to achieve your goal? What will you need to do it? When do you plan on getting started? Start mapping everything out for yourself.
Stake it - This one is a personal favorite, give yourself some sort of investment in starting and completing your goal. For some people it's money, but it can be as simple as creating an account, signing up for a service, registering yourself, you get the picture. Staking it is just a way to lock in taking your first step.
Find Your Why
Also whether it's existing goals or new ones, make sure you identify a strong why for getting it done. You can think of your why as sort of like your compass. Any time you get lost, a compass will always point you back in the right direction right? Well, your why does the same thing for your goals. If things ever get hard or you end up kind of losing sight of why you even started, having a strong why set will always help get you back on track and keep you motivated.
When I hit my first 10k month, I was so excited and couldn’t believe I was able to accomplish this in my business! For most established businesses 10k months are a regular occurrence, but for me at the time, this was a huge milestone. Looking back on it, my why was a HUGE contributing factor to my success in achieving this.
If you’re interested in increasing your revenue this year, stay tuned! I’m currently working on some content covering all of my recommended Steps To Hit Your First 10k Month.
Short term vs Long term goals (why long term is probably better)
Real quick - both short term and long term goals are useful. Each of them has their own pros/cons, and finding which one is more useful for you ultimately depends on your own situation and what you’re looking to get done.
Giving the two of them a quick breakdown, I think short term goals are great for things like building confidence, practicing different habits, experimenting, trying out new things, and other things of that nature. That being said short term goals are just that, short term. So oftentimes, they don’t require much effort, commitment, or resources to get them done. It’s this exact quality that makes them so great for everything we listed above.
Long term goals, of course, are different in what they have to offer. They’re great for things like practicing & developing discipline, making life changing habits, and creating better consistency in your progress. As I’m sure we all know, long term goals are going to require way more of an investment from you. This investment can come in many different forms - time, money, resources, etc. But over all, the payout for achieving these goals is always worth more in the end.
A great example to sum both of these up would be something like “ I want to lose 5lbs vs I want to start exercising every day” Both of these are pretty simple tasks, but with one you’re set on losing 5lbs and then that's it (Short term goal) The other one is just focused on exercising daily, but you’ll probably end up losing more than 5lbs, and gaining way more health benefits overall (Long term goal).
As a business owner, I know how hard it is to maintain a good work life balance. In case fitness was one of your new goals, I’ll be making a post on How I Stay In Shape As A Busy Entrepreneur to help give you a good head start :)
Keep Things Simple
The last thing I want to talk about is a pretty straight forward concept - just keep things simple. Whether their short term or long term goals, you don’t have to have all the details planned out from the jump. A big reason why a lot of people end up getting stuck, is because they set goals that are super specific way too early in their process. This can be really overwhelming, especially if things don’t go exactly according to plan.
As I mentioned earlier I like to build onto pre-existing goals, meaning I expand them over time. Oftentimes they start out as general ideas or just simple tasks, and from there I put most of my focus into just maintaining progress in whatever it is I'm doing.
This gives you way less pressure on “failing” any part of what you’re trying to do. And it also gives you space to be present in the process. Being present is key for observing and making changes or improvements along the way! Such as what you like vs what you dislike, what is working and what isn’t, when you should add more to do vs back off and take things away, stuff like that. If you set out to tackle something and you’re feeling overwhelmed before you even start, chances are you need to simplify things before giving it another go.
In conclusion, setting goals doesn’t have to be as hard as what you think. With a little planning and the right mindset, you’ll be absolutely rocking whatever you put your mind to. So tell me, which tip do you plan on using first to kickstart your new goals/endeavors? Hopefully, you were able to gain some value from this and kickstart 2023 or whatever goal you’re looking to start, with a bit of an extra edge. I’ll be dropping some content soon on How To Maximize Productivity, so be sure to subscribe to our mailing list and become a part of our community. Thanks again for tuning in and I’ll see you all in the next one!