It is not enough to take steps which may someday lead to a goal; each step must be itself a goal and a step likewise.
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe-
It seems as though the holidays go by faster and faster each year. I was just beginning to get used to writing 2017 on my checks. As another year starts, I’m sure a lot of us have been asked the same question that seems to always get brought up in “after Christmas” banter; “what’s your New Year’s resolution?”
But what is a New Year’s resolution, exactly? Is it just an easy conversation starter in the workplace, or something most people claim to ignore altogether? Instead of asking your neighbor, friend, or your co-worker, what their resolution is for the year, why not ask what goals they have set for 2018? Why not ask yourself what those goals may be?
Setting a goal is not necessarily difficult, but the art of achieving that goal can be quite the challenge. Why is that? Why is it so easy for someone to say they want to lose 10 pounds, but never actually achieve it? I do not ever question that each individual “wants” to achieve their goals. Everyone “wants” to spend more time with their family, lose the weight, quit smoking, be a better friend, etc, but why can some people achieve it and others go back to the same old vices that everyone has?
My mentor told me something a couple weeks back that really stuck with me. She said, ask someone what their goal is for the year. Maybe it is to stop smoking. Now ask the individual to give that goal a rating from 1 to 10, 1 being not a priority, and 10 being of the highest priority. If the individual gives “quitting smoking” anything other than a 10, they are not in a position to give up smoking. Now some may say that’s not a fair judgment. Maybe that individual has a taxing career, a family to support, bills to pay, and if they give “quitting smoking” an 8, that’s still a pretty high score. However, once you give a goal anything other than a 10, you are essentially giving yourself an “out.” You have just told yourself that “smoking” is not going to make or break your year if you don’t successfully quit during the year 2018. If you give yourself an “out,” the consequences of not obtaining your goal will not make you a failure, you’ll just try again next year.
Some may think this approach to be a little harsh, but to me, that makes goal setting a little bit more realistic and probable. If you can find a goal or multiple goals that are challenging enough, yet attainable, and you can place a 10 on the rating scale, I believe you can achieve anything. If you have a goal that you can’t place a rating of 10 on, then you may just have to come back to that goal when you are in a different place in your life. It does not mean that you will never meet that specific goal, but at this time, focus on what is your highest priority. Focus on what you can rate a 10, and hold on to that goal.
In the International Journal of Management, Business, and Administration, the authors give a layout in which goals can be achieved in a successful manner:
• Goals Need To Be Specific
• Goals Must Be Difficult AND Attainable
• Goals Must Be Accepted
• Feedback Must Be Provided on Goal Attainment
• Goals Are More Effective When They Are Used to Evaluate Performance
• Deadlines Improve the Effectiveness of Goals
By using these guidelines, a business, a group, or an individual can start to focus on either their long-term or short-term goals in a simple, yet effective way. Find what is holding you back, or something you have always wanted to do. Figure out what you want to make your long-term goal or a short-term goal. Maybe your short-term goal is to start running 3 to 4 times a week, but your long-term goal is to run 2 or more marathons in your lifetime. Make your goals a priority in your life.
If an individual does not set goals for themselves, life will begin to plateau.
Goals help to elevate an individuals’ life, and create expectations that keep life moving in an upward motion. Expect greatness from yourself this year. Challenge yourself to write down your top goals for the week, the month, the year, or for your lifetime. Hold yourself accountable, and make 2018 your year!
The Center for Sports Psychology will help you and your team Achieve Excellence and Surpass Your Goals!