New Year’s Resolutions again? Do this instead.
We have all made New Year’s resolutions and we have all failed to keep them.
If you want to improve your chances of making real long term change in yourself, your family or your organization, here is what I tell my private coaching clients to do instead.
Set a New Year’s direction, make small experiments, and correct along the way.
In this series of posts, I will give you all the details of how to do it, with examples and templates. Are you ready for an awesome new year? Then read on!
For years I have done some form of New Year’s resolution. Normally not a formal thing but somewhere in my mind I would think about it, hope for it.
Sometimes I would set a SMART goal. You know, a goal that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Reasonable, and Time-bound. Yep, I have been SMART for years. But they don’t normally last.
Statistically about half of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. The same statistics say that 8% of those folks are successful in reaching them. Those aren’t good odds. I wouldn’t bet on them. I want something better.
There is another option. One that makes more sense in today’s fast-paced world.
When an airplane takes off from LAX headed to Hawaii doesn’t point its nose to Hawaii and fly in a straight line. That wouldn’t work. There are too many variables. Wind speed, gusting, direction, air pressure, the weight of the passengers and luggage all impact the calculation that would be required to make a perfectly aligned flight and you cannot predict or control any of them.
Instead, they get going in the right direction and then make constant little corrections along the way. Do the same to reach your goals.
First, you have to know where you are going. Get on that plane for Hawaii but you wanted to visit your mother in Pittsburg and you will be disappointed, even if you are in Hawaii. So, get pointed in the right direction.
I divide direction up into 7 general buckets.
Create or print the following table.
Now put an X in each box where you currently rate your current satisfaction with this aspect of your life (bucket). Here is an example I used boxes and circles instead of X or O but it works the same.
After you have done that put an O to identify how important you think this aspect is to you.
The amount of stress we experience is proportional to the difference between the current and desired state, and the level of the desired state. So, a desired state of 9 and a current state of 5 will give you more stress than a desired state of 7 and a current state of 3. Even though their difference is the same, the importance you place on that aspect is lower thus the stress is lower.
If you break them down different, great. Just break it down into six to eight big buckets.
Ok, that is enough for today. Tomorrow we will explore the first step in setting a direction for these buckets. Oh, and you should get yourself a journal of some kind. I use daily journaling with all my coaching clients in a number of different ways.
I use a variety of journals. Most often I just use a regular old college composition book. You know, the black and white ones like this. Sometimes people give me nice ones or I spot one that I like and get it, but normally they are just the comp books.
Ok, see you tomorrow.