Today I had planned to share with you my goals for 2021. Hope this 8 New Year’s keys plan will bring your success as goals.
Planning is important, and planning your goals correctly can make the difference between success and failure. For this reason, I have invited my friend Miguel Guzmán to explain to us how to plan our New Year’s resolutions so that we do not abandon them after two days.
Although planning does not sound as attractive as “living day by day letting yourself be carried away by the present moment,” the truth is that it works much better.
And it is that just as it would not occur to you to go on vacation abroad without preparing anything or buying a plane ticket without knowing the destination, neither should you face this new year without being clear about what you want.
8 Keys to planning your New Year’s goals
Here are 8 key plan for this years; we will define our objectives with:
1 – Positive Statement
2 – Goal Under Your Control
3 – Adjusted Specification
4 – Appropriate Size
5 – Motivating Objective
6 – Necessary Resources
7 – Positive Intent
8 – Ecological Check
+1 – Review
“I love it when a plan comes together!” 😀
Have you ever set goals for the start of the new year?
And have you ever felt that the year was over and maybe you had too many left behind?
Something similar happened to me: I started a new year and I set goals that “sounded” to me quite a bit from previous years:
“This year, yes or yes, I go to the gym”
And then after a few weeks I stopped going regularly, I went seasonally: sometimes because I was too busy, sometimes because I didn’t feel energetic, what if now the Easter holidays, what if now the summer holidays … the end was coming. of the year and I hadn’t done half of half of what I had set out to do. And as the following year began, I would say to myself:
“This year, yes or yes, I go to the gym”
For me, this was like living on Groundhog Day : I set goals for myself, I didn’t meet them and I set myself goals again. In the basic areas of my life, such as passing my degree, or in work projects, I did notice progress, after all, that’s what I spent most of my time on!
But my Personal Development goals seemed stagnant. Because they don’t seem essential: you can live perfectly another year without getting in shape , staying at your ideal weight, quitting smoking, learning to play the guitar or launching your own blog.
But I wanted to go one step further, and really achieve my personal goals. And for this I realized that it was very useful to do what Hannibal Smith did in the A team: to have a plan that works.
“I love it when a plan comes together”
The following 8 keys (+1 bonus) to define your objectives are adapted from Neurolinguistic Programming. In recent years they have been very useful to me in defining exactly what I want and how I am going to achieve it.
1. Positive statement
Our brain tends to focus on what we think about.
For example, when we want to buy a new car, on the street we tend to look at the cars we like. Or a pre-mom who thinks there are more pregnant women on the street.
It has a biological explanation (The Reticular Activation System is the part of your brain that, among other things, regulates attention, it is like a radar that alerts you to what is external that coincides with your thoughts).
You can also see it as a personal development issue. As Harv Eker says, “What you focus on expands .”
The point is that we are drawn to what occupies our thoughts. Therefore, instead of thinking about what we do not want, it is more useful to think about what we want and set our goals for this year as a result:
I want to stop being lazy → I want to get in shape
I want to stop being fat → I want to be at my ideal weight
I want to stop being poor → I want to increase my income
I want to stop being lazy in my spare time → I want to start a blog that give results
2. Goal Under Your Control
Our goal has to depend on ourselves, and not on others.
When we define objectives and plans for this year that depend on others, we are putting it beyond our control whether they are met or not met.
For example if I say “I’m going to have a girlfriend” (or boyfriend). In part it may depend on me, but if the candidate I have in mind is not willing to go out with me, then no matter how hard I try, it will not happen.
However, what can be in our power is to go out to meet people, because that will increase our chances of finding a partner.
In the same way, people do not have to read your blog, or buy your product. The number of visits to your blog or the number of sales made are results. It’s okay to measure and control them, and try to improve them, but they are not your goals. Your objectives would be your publications and your marketing and sales campaigns.
“I’m going to get together” → “I’m going out to meet people”
“I’m going to lift 90 kilos on the bench press” → “I’m going to go to the gym regularly”
“I’m going to reach 1,000 subscribers on the blog” → “I’m going to write regularly on the blog “
3. Adjusted Specification
An ambiguous goal will give us ambiguous results. If our goal is as generic as “go to the gym more” or “eat less junk food” , it will not be clear whether we are succeeding or not.
If we work on concrete goals, we will obtain concrete results.
I’ll go to the gym → I’ll go 3 days a week to the gym
I’ll write more on the blog → I’ll write at least 1 once a week on the blog
I will learn to play guitar → I’ll play guitar half hour every afternoon
An outside observer should be able to verify without a doubt if we have achieved our goal or if it is not yet complete.
It is difficult to know if you have gone “more” to the gym or if you have written “more” on the blog. It is easier to check if you have really gone 3 times in a certain week, or if this week you have skipped blogging.
Allow yourself flexibility: even if you adjust your goal, don’t be too hard on yourself, because if not, the moment you fail, you may want to throw in the towel.
It is very useful to define it with the word “almost” . For example: “I will go to the gym for 3 days almost every week . ” If some week I can’t go 3 days and I only go 1 or 2, I don’t beat myself up too much. Of course, it is not worth using it as an excuse: that the “almost” does not become “almost never” 😉
4. Appropriate Size
If you have never been to a gym and the first week you want to go 3 hours each day to do a complete training table and some strenuous collective class, possibly when Saturday arrives you will have stiffness even on your Facebook profile. And possibly the following week you will have many ballots so that you do not want anything at all to return to such Chinese torture.
Projects that are too ambitious are easy to abandon: we have to cover things that we see are within our reach. Likewise, projects that are too easy do not mean we leave our Comfort Zone, they do not bring us tangible progress.
Our goal has to be challenging but achievable .
5. Motivating Goal
If you make it your goal, say, to learn to play the pink ukulele , and it’s not a thing that calls you especially, as soon as you have something more urgent or important to do, ukulele practice is over.
Setting a lot of goals just for having a lot to do, if they are not really focused on achieving something that we are really passionate about, it will only serve to have a long string of abandoned goals along the way.
The question we ask ourselves here is:
What do I want this goal for?
We have to ask ourselves what we are going to achieve with this objective, and if we are really passionate about what we are going to achieve.
If you are really passionate about the ukulele, or any other instrument, and playing it you enjoy like a cat next to a radiator, then this goal is for you!
Be careful not to challenge yourself to show yourself what you are worth : many people sometimes set goals simply to show ourselves that we can achieve them. Not because we like the result but to show us that we are worth it.
In my experience, this is a mistake, since the effort invested is enormous simply to be able to prove something to ourselves and to raise our self-esteem. This happens because some people have self-esteem conditioned on results (if things go well for us, we make us happy, but if things go badly, we become very frustrated with ourselves).
I have been working on self-esteem issues for many years and in my experience it is much more useful to love yourself unconditionally (to love yourself the same if things go well for you as if they go wrong) and to set goals that bring you closer to the results you really want, because you passionate about the subject or because they will qualitatively improve your life.
6. Necessary Resources
The resources are what we need to achieve our goal.
We distinguish two types of resources:
The external resources are those outside of us. We can basically summarize them in: time , money and energy . If you want to go to the gym, you will have to find the gap in your schedule, and also pay the gym fee.
These resources are (to a certain extent) interchangeable: you can, for example, do all the tasks of your blog yourself, at a cost of time and energy, or outsource certain tasks, at an economic cost.
The remedies are the ones we are interested from the point of view of personal development. They are the internal states that you will have to enhance to achieve your goals.
For example, if I want to write on my blog every week, I will have to strengthen my discipline to find a space to write. If I want to find a partner I will have to increase my sociability (in addition to the ability to socialize, I mean the desire to meet people and connect with other people).
7. Positive Intent
Your current situation brings you a benefit.
In what you have now, there is something that you consider to be good for you. If not, if it was 100% harmful, you wouldn’t do it.
For example, you smoke to relax . Or you eat unhealthy food because it is very rich.
Even in the greatest of self-sabotages there is a positive intention behind it. For example, not believing that you deserve success.
To change your situation you have to find a way to maintain that positive intention.
If we set a goal that takes away something that is positive for us, we will surely abandon that goal, or some secondary damage will appear.
For example, if we smoke to relax, and we stop smoking, we can get anxiety. With what we will go back to smoking, or we will eat compulsively to calm that anxiety, and we will gain weight.
If I want to start a business, and right now I’m working for someone else, there are still things that I don’t like, but at the end of the month I get paid . This is a positive effect for me of the current situation.
If I start an entrepreneur and in the first months I see that I do not earn anything, I can either quickly abandon the venture and go back to looking for work for others, or become too obsessed with income, for example trying to make aggressive sales that may annoy my clients .
Take a moment to think about what’s good about the current situation and how you can sustain it once you hit your mark.
For example, to calm the anxiety of quitting tobacco you can resort to nicotine gum, or even better to mental techniques such as meditation or smoking hypnosis.
Before starting out, you can either create a loose economic mattress, or start with a project parallel to your current situation, so that not making money at the beginning does not take away your sleep.
8. Ecological Check
Our life is not a set of isolated elements, but a complete system in which the different elements interact with each other.
It is important to take into account how the objective (both pursuing it and achieving the final results) will affect our life as a whole.
A friend of mine who was promoted at work told me that many days he had meetings at 7 in the afternoon, that’s what being a boss has to do!
In the same way, if I go to the gym for two hours several days a week, I will surely notice that lack of time: those days I will have much less time to dedicate to other things.
And if I start a diet and the people I live with do not, surely I will have to cook something different for myself than what the rest eat, this can be an additional work!
I sometimes think that when I am hyper-famous with my blog , I will have to go incognito on the street in case the fans harass me😛 😛 😛
Joking aside, the question we would ask ourselves would be: pursuing this goal and getting the end results, how is it going to affect my life? How is it going to affect my environment, my family or the people around me?
Once we are clear about all the above points, we will have a well-defined and planned objective, and we can get to work. However, there is one more key that is very useful in getting all of this to work:
Review your goals!
Every so often depending on the objective (and better if it is not from year to year), check if you are really achieving it:
- Do I still want this goal?
- Am I getting it?
- If I am not succeeding, what do I have to change?
When reviewing our objectives , Barriers will appear , which are the inverse of resources: it is what is preventing us from achieving the objective.
Again they can be external: lack of time, money or energy; or internal: there is something within us that prevents us from focusing 100% on achieving it, perhaps we do not want it with enough intensity, or we self-sabotage in some other way, in which case we will have to do some internal work.
Planning our goals for the new year is a practical way to maximize the chances of achieving them.
To finish I will only tell you one thing: it is useless to know how to plan goals if you do not start planning right away. Remember that knowledge without practice is of little use, so get to work.