Hundreds of thousands of people will set New Year’s Resolutions later this week and, according to statistics, at least 85% of those resolutions will be forgotten within seven days.
Must it be that way? Internationally-acclaimed Goal Achievement Specialist Nancy Morris not only says "absolutely not" but adds "it's easy to avoid that fate."
The key to ensuring success, states Morris, is not to set a New Year's Resolution. Making a resolution is like goal-setting, and goal-setting itself is only one part of achieving an important goal.
"When someone books their annual vacation, they don’t just pick a flight and a hotel," Morris explains. "They also plan out events they’d like to go to, or places they’d like to see. There are things to take care of at home too, such as making sure the pets are cared for or the newspaper cancelled. There is a plan of action put in place so that the holiday is fun and memorable."
The same philosophy is applied to what Morris calls "Goal Getting" instead of simply goal-setting.
"Goal-setting is very important," says Morris. "But not as important as putting together the whole plan. And it doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, the simpler the plan, the more likely you are to achieve your goal."
According to Morris - who has been studying the psychology of success for over a decade and has shared her proven principles with people on five continents through the Goal Getter™ Kit - there are seven simple steps to achieve any goal, whether short term or long.
“Where most people fail is right at the very beginning,” says Morris. “The first thing to do with any goal is to make a statement outlining what you want. Unfortunately, people tend to set goals they actually have very little control over, such as the job they will get or the amount of weight they will lose. Those are called ‘outcome goals’.
The easy correction is to change it to a ‘performance goal’, such as the number of resumes you will send out or the days you will go to the gym. A performance goal is more within your control and will make the ‘desired outcome’ of the new job or weight loss more likely to happen.”
The second step to successfully achieving any goal is to decide how you will celebrate once you've got it.
“We humans are pretty bad at acknowledging our own achievements. We tend to skip right over what we accomplish and look for what's next. To increase motivation, it is very important to celebrate before moving on,” emphasizes Morris.
Step three is to check the level of commitment we have for achieving the goal. Morris explains, “There are several ways to do this, but the bottom line is that if you are not willing to commit time, energy and other resources to the goal now, there’s no point even starting. Don’t give up just alter the goal statement until you are willing to commit more fully to it.”
Writing out the specific actions you need to take is step four. Identify things you need to stop doing, start doing and do more of to achieve the goal and schedule those into your routine.
“Step five is vital to the success of any goal,” according to Morris. "Invite people to help you achieve the goal. This is your Goal Getter™ Gang and they are there to give advice, lend a hand, share insights, kick your butt into action if need be and so much more. Asking for help is definitely not a sign of weakness. Think of the successful people you know - are they doing it all alone?”
The sixth step is to review your actions, every day if necessary. Regularly monitoring progress, or lack of it, means you can spot what is working and what is not quite right yet.
That awareness leads to step seven, which is to adjust the actions as needed.
“Similar to driving your car in a new city,” explains Morris, “you need to check the street signs, look for reference points, judge the position of where you are now to where you want to be and make changes as needed. There’s no point setting out and then never looking at the map again!”
“Making a so-called New Year’s Resolution is old news. In fact, it’s bad news. Success, however someone chooses to define it, is not rocket science. It is a simple, step by step process that anyone can use for any goal. It’s all about goal getting, not goal setting!”
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