How will you make 2019 your best year yet? The year that you look back on and think, “Wow – I accomplished so much more than I ever thought possible. I got exactly what I wanted, and more!”
The answer lies in goal-setting and action plans. You must get crystal clear on your goals for the next 365 days, write them down, and then create an action plan to move toward them and make them a reality.
There’s a reason why most people give up on their New Year’s resolutions. It’s because they’re big on dreams, but little on action. Just like most things in life, you shouldn’t decide to undertake major life changes on a whim.
If you’re truly serious about setting yourself up with a lasting New Year’s resolution, treat it like any other major life goal. State your intentions, plan out your actions, and maintain the will to follow through.
State Your Goal
When it comes envisioning your goal, don’t be afraid of dreaming too big or being too specific. During this phase, you don’t want to hold yourself back. The sky is truly the limit.
Then fill in the details with achievable tasks that will enable you to reach your goal. If you want to lose weight, specify how much and by when. If you want to finish that professional certification, specify what you’re going to do to make it happen.
Make your goals real and focus on three distinct key areas of your life:
-> Personal Growth & Contribution
-> Achievements & Experiences
-> Financial Freedom & Rewards
Consider these goal setting tips:
-> Set an attainable goal.
-> Be clear. State your goal in as few words as possible, but make your end goal clear.
-> Be honest. Ensure you’re setting this goal because it’s something that you want to change in yourself.
Have an Action Plan
Some people fall short simply because they failed to create an action plan. However, without a plan you’ll make your goal much more difficult, if not impossible, to achieve.
Here are some tips for creating an action plan:
-> Break your plan into parts. If you take everything in all at once, it may seem overwhelming. If you break your plan up, though, you’re only looking at a bunch of mini goals. You’ll already be seeing the end of the tunnel when you begin, so you’ll find it easier as you complete each step.
-> Keep your mind on your goal. As you plan out each step toward your goal, keep that New Year’s resolution in mind (your big picture). There’s a reason why you picked that goal to work on for the New Year. It’s because it’s important to you.
-> Include motivation. Motivation might be the thing that gives you the most trouble. You may start out exceptionally motivated, but then tend to lose that enthusiasm as the year progresses. It’s so important that you program your subconscious for success.
Taking action is usually where people tend to run into some trouble. It’s easy to get pumped up about an idea, but when it comes down to executing your plan, you might be tempted to fall short. Take Action. That’s it. Act. Fail Forward. Adjust. Repeat. ©
Form a Routine
The reason you want to take baby steps at first is because once you form a new routine, it’s actually easy to hold yourself to it.
Routines are made up of a three-part “habit loop”: a cue, a behavior and a reward. If you haven’t read The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg (read it, if you get a chance– it’s brilliant). It turns out that every habit starts with a psychological pattern called a “habit loop,” which is a three-part process. First, there’s a trigger, that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and let a behavior unfold. Then there’s the routine, which is the behavior itself. That’s what we think about when we think about habits. The heart of the habit is a mental, emotional, or physical routine. Finally, there is a reward, which helps your brain determine if this particular loop is worth remembering for the future.
Understanding and interrupting that loop is key to breaking a habit or forming good ones.
Reward yourself often for your excellent efforts because you deserve it for working hard to change yourself for the better. You don’t need to wait until the end of the year to treat yourself. Rewarding yourself for a job well done motivates you to keep going!
Do It Again!
After your first successful year of bettering yourself, you can then repeat the process and work on another aspect of your life. Before you know it, you’ll be a perfectly happy and healthy person because of your awareness, perseverance, and hard work!
Everything around you in your life right now once started out as just a thought, a desire, an inspired moment. You now have the power to take your current thoughts and turn them into a tangible, promising future. Build the life of your dreams. Make goals that will drive you– goals with some power behind them. After all, goals are just dreams with deadlines.
As you approach this exercise, be sure to put yourself in a positive, peak state. Have absolute faith and expectation that you can create anything you want in your life. Be enthusiastic. Be ambitious! Reach for the outer limits of what you believe you can achieve in one year. Find your place among the stars.
HCCI is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for the SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM.
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