By February, many people have already ditched their New Year’s resolution. However, with a little planning and a lot of joyful hard work, you can get back on track for the year. Is it easy to change old behaviors? Probably not. But with goal setting based on values, and some basic task management, you have a better chance to sail through the challenges ahead. Ready to get started?
1. Identify Your Core Values.
Have you read those cheesy net memes that say, “What if you woke up tomorrow with only those things that you were thankful for today?” So, it turns out they’re true. So, what do you value? Your health, relationships, education, security, honesty, community, personal integrity, and faith? Spend some time and think about what is really important to you. Your core values have to be the foundation on which your goal setting is built or you’re not going to achieve a darn thing, no matter how good your intentions. Write down these values and keep them handy.
2. Spend Some Time Daydreaming.
Picture in your mind’s eye what a 2017 utopia looks like for each of your core values. Think about the 2017 holiday season. When you do your personal “year in review”, what does it look like? Who are you with? What are you doing? Where are you celebrating? Are there any big moments from the previous year that stand out? The more detailed you can make your daydreams the better. And don’t worry about dreaming big. My circle of friends includes authors, business leaders, cancer survivors, lmmakers, marathoners, and heroes of every color, shape, and size. Extraordinary people, each and every one, and yet all of them are very regular people. If they can achieve their goals, so can we!
3. Gather Your Tools.
You’re going to need “baby step” tasks for each of your big goals and a good “to do” list and calendar system. You can do paper for this but honestly I prefer some of the simple, free productivity apps that are available for my cell phone. That way, I’ve got it with me wherever I go, and referring to it is as easy as pulling up “Words with Friends.” Don’t forget to calendar time for your baby-step tasks each week.
4. Identify What You’ll Sacrifice.
Recognize that if you keep doing what you’ve been doing you’ll get the same outcome. If you want something different, you’ll need to do something different. Better health usually means better food, sleep, and activity levels. Better relationships usually mean better quality-time communicating effectively and building connections. There are still only 24 hours in a day. So it’s a wise move to figure out now what you’re willing to sacrifice to achieve the increased time and attention you’ll be giving to your 2017 goals. Will you be giving up “Words with Friends” to bank the time for a weekly date night with your significant other? Will you forgo a television show to put in time at a fitness center?
5. Joyful Work for Positive Transformation.
The truth is, achieving your goals can be hard work. That’s as it should be since you’ve been dreaming big. There will be times when you may feel discouraged. There will be lots of distractions wanting to pull you away from your baby-step task list. That’s why setting goals based on your core values is crucial. They will give you the drive, passion and perseverance to push through the tough times and achieve your positive transformation.