Every year, I set my New Year’s resolution by asking myself:
“This time next year, if I _________ then I will count this year as a success”.
Just fill in the blank.
The only condition is that it must be measurable enough that on 31 December 2011, you can say with absolute conviction: “yes I achieved that target” or “no I missed it”.
It should preferably be one goal, but no more than three.
It will be your finishing line. Something big enough to get excited about.
Something that will improve your life.
Given it has to be measurable, it can’t just be “lose weight”. If that’s your goal, define it: what body fat percentage? What size clothes? Maybe buy an article of clothing or select a notch in your belt. That way you’ll know, yes or no, did you achieve that goal.
If it’s to “save more money”, how much money? Do you mean it in the sense of spending less on “doodads” or in the sense of having money in the bank? If the bank, is that money in a fixed term deposit, a bonus internet saver, or just having enough money in your account to not have to worry about those pesky overdraft fees?
If you feel your goal is big enough and impactful enough to deserve it, why not set a reward? Choose something that matches the “bigness” of the goal.
Or if you’re so inclined, perhaps set the reward first then ask yourself (truthfully!) “what do I need to accomplish this year to know deep down that I deserved this reward”.
If your reward is to go on a 4 week trip to Europe and your goal is to eat junk food once less per week… do you really deserve it? But if you do something that will make a real impact in your life like quitting smoking, getting fit (which I define as passing a beep test to level 14 or getting a respectable time in a marathon), getting an A+ average at school/college, etc.
You know deep down the reward would fit the achievement of the goal.
If you have any doubt, just run it by someone you trust. You’ll probably figure it out as you tell them!
How are you going to make 2011 your best year yet?
- Don’t Waste Your Time With Goals In 2011
Daniel’s basic ideas in this article are the distinction between objects of your desire, goals and commitments and to be mindful of what goals you set. If you have no control over the achievement of a goal, setting it as a goal will often lead to frustration. Instead, set commitments based on your goals. You have full control over your commitments.
- Maybe Next Year…
A timely reminder from the one and only Seth Godin to quit making excuses and just take action. Don’t wait for all the stars to line up before you do something about your future.