In going over my 2017 goals to see how well I did, I cringed when I saw that I successfully only achieved 50%. The others I put effort into, but somewhere along the line my best intentions weren’t enough to see me through to the finish.
When I look at the “why” behind how I was able to accomplish the ones I did, it’s easy to see the difference.
I had an actionable, measurable plan in place.
*Cue puking emoji*
I know – this sounds like the crap you hear sitting in the worst quarterly team meeting of your life, where you’re scanning the room for a fork or a row of staples to jam into your eyeball, wondering if a 401K and healthcare are really that important and thinking that maybe living with Mom and Dad again would be a “fun adventure”.
Hear me out.
This is really different from the way we learned to set goals at our corporate jobs. I’m not going to try talking you into writing annual goals related to work you’re only doing to avoid homelessness. Or prison.
I’m talking about goals that matter to you on a deeper level, and in every sphere of your life.
The big things missing from my ability to achieve each of my goals last year were not only that I had no action plan behind those that I fell short of, but that I also failed to get the most critical element in place.
It’s a game changer, and I can’t believe how often we overlook it.
I was fortunate enough this year to be part of the launch team for Michael Hyatt’s latest book, Your Best Year Ever: A 5-Step Plan for Achieving Your Most Important Goals, that launched January 2nd. This could be the best book I’ve ever read as it relates to getting your head right before you dive into the work of goal-setting.
Not only does this book walk you through a 5-step plan to really plot out your goals and assign a framework to them, it’s a tangible way to bring your dreams out of the clouds, turn them into goals, and see for the first time that they weren’t as crazy as you might have once believed, or been lead to believe.
Why We Fail
Among much of the wisdom found in this book, a huge takeaway for me was that one of the biggest reasons we fail to achieve our goals isn’t necessarily a lack of willpower (whatever that monster is), but it’s that we haven’t taken a look at our past and determined what went right, what went wrong, and how we’re going to do it better or differently next time.
This is piece-of-cake-easy to do, and quite simply, a no-brainer. Why wouldn’t we be taking a look at what went wrong and analyzing why not?
Goals Stated vs. Reality
Another HUGE eye-opener I hadn’t considered was the very real idea that our actions don’t always align with our goals.
If we look at the areas of our lives that we say really matter most to us; family/marriage, health, finances, spirituality, and then we line it up with where our time is spent; social media, Netflix, you see where I’m going…
It’s not that we’re not aware that Peaky Blinders is taking us away from half marathon training, it’s that we can’t always figure out how to consistently choose our running shoes over the couch and new bottle of Merlot (amiright?).
The good news is that we don’t have to figure this out for ourselves. Your Best Year Ever outlines every practical, tangible step you need to take to figure out how to make 2018 the year you write a screen play, or start a beard conditioner business, or finally become an amateur bee keeper.
My favorite part of the book was Hyatt explaining how we aren’t going to care a whole lot about goals we don’t really feel any passion for. This is why corporate goals that are given to you by someone else are usually destined to fail, or to be too easily achieved. You’ll either agree to goals that are easily achieved because you don’t have any inherent passion behind it (unless increasing outbound call volume is really, really what you feel called to do with your life, and if it is, make sure it lines up with your “why”), or you’ll dismiss the idea of even trying to achieve the goal because at the end of the day, you just can’t make yourself care enough.
I’ll never forget all the years at my corporate job where I sat down with my boss to work on my goals feeling so disconnected from them. These were their goals. When I would bring up goals that mattered to me, things I really wanted to work on, areas I wanted to grow, new training and other pursuits I was interested in, they’d dismiss it, always promising “maybe down the road”, or, “that’s a great thing to keep in mind for next year”. My goals didn’t line up with theirs, and eventually, I had to do something about that.
It’s so important to really take a hard look at your life, what you want from it, what you love, what matters to you, and create goals that support that. Anything else is a distraction, or someone else’s goals. Whose life are you living?
I’d encourage you to forget the idea of making resolutions this year, and instead, put a framework around actually achieving some goals so that by this time next year, you can be proud of all you’ve accomplished, see how much control you really do have surrounding creating the life you want, and realize some of your wild, audacious dreams.
I’d love to hear from you. How did you do with your 2017 goals? What are some of the goals you’ve already set for 2018?
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