Let me explain why. It isn't that I don't want to improve, progress, or better myself. I do. And I plan to. But, every year it is the same thing, we make bold resolutions with a big expectation that this next year we are going to be stronger, skinnier, wealthier and then leave it at that. The majority of people who made resolutions last night will have abandoned their resolution by the end of the month and those who are blessed with motivation and determination may make it to Easter. But again, they inevitably fail.
You are probably sitting there thinking, "What a Debbie-Downer!" But, stay with me for a minute. People fail because they make no goals, no plans. A simple statement of, 'This year I want/will....." is what resolutions have turned into. But according to a quick Google search the word resolve means: decide firmly on a course of action.
Where in the generic resolution sentence does it mention a course of action, a plan? NOWHERE.
In my life I have learned many lessons and ignored even more. But 2 lessons I have lovingly cherished and want to shout from the rooftops I learned from My 7th grade teacher, Mrs. Deaton, and my loving husband.
What is the Goal Making Process?
1- Write an affirmative statement; for example, "I WILL..."
2- Make SMALL goals to achieve on the way to your main goal (This is where Lesson #2 comes into play, but more on that later).
3- Make a PLAN, How are you going to accomplish your goal? What do you need to do? Do you need help?
4- Tell someone. Not just a Facebook status update that no one will read. Tell someone you trust who will keep you on track. For example, My sister realized that when she wasn't accountable to anyone
she would stop exercising, stop dieting, and gain weight. (Most people do this, that is why
most diets fail. ACCOUNTABILITY). So about 2 months ago she enlisted EVERYONE
sisters, parents, friends, coworkers. She made herself accountable.
5- Make CHECKPOINTS. Establish a time frame to accomplish each step/small goal. Requiring you to analyze your progress along the way.
6- REWARDS. Everyone likes to treat themselves. Find something that will motivate you and establish a reward that you get when you have accomplished your goals. *Be sure to make it equal to the task. Don't set it up so that if you go to the gym for a week you get a cruise to the Bahamas. But maybe plan in a rest day or a special non-diet treat to reward yourself for being good the rest of the week.
7- Place it somewhere you will SEE it. If you put all these good things down in a journal you only open twice a year then it does you no good. Keep your eye on the ball, make sure you can see your goals and your plan.
Remember how I said Lesson #2 comes into play during Lesson #1? You may be thinking that they should just be one lesson. But, unfortunately it was years later that I finally understood Step 2 of the Goal Making Process and learned Lesson #2 for myself. Making Mrs. Deaton's earlier teachings even more valuable to me.
Lesson #2 is that people like success. Mr. Sam taught me this important lesson on the rocky banks of Utah Lake. That's right - we were fishing. What does fishing have to do with goals...nothing. However, Mr. Sam was very determined for me to have success early when he started teaching me to fish. Because, a small taste of success makes you hungry for more. You begin enjoying the process more when you realize that you are doing well.
Dave Ramsey, that famous guy behind the Debt Snowball; ever heard of it? He uses the same theory. Smallest debts first to give you a taste of success so that you have the hunger and drive to attach the larger debts.
Lesson #2 is people like success. Early, exciting, invigorating success. Which is why Lesson #1 is important. It is built so that you have those early achievements. You can't have one Lesson without learning the other.
Sick of hearing about how important they are yet? Too bad. They are important and they are the ticket to achieving what you want. New Year's, Lent, Columbus Day - no matter when, no matter why - if you are making a change you need this process.
If you don't believe me then, best of luck on your 'resolution' and "may the odds be ever in your favor." If you do believe me then let's make this year better than the last!
"Short cuts make for long delays."
- Tolkien -