“A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline.” ~Harvey MacKay
With 2013 just around the corner, it’s not too early to begin thinking about those New Year’s resolutions. If you’re like most people, though, your resolution will have been forgotten by mid-February. Why is this? Because most people make a resolution by simply stating their desire. For example:
“My New Year’s resolution is to: ___________________."
- lose 20 pounds
- quit smoking
- get better grades
- find a higher paying job
- organize my closets
These are fine objectives, but two things are missing:
1. A plan. When making your resolution, decide how you are going to accomplish it and write down your plan.
If you want to lose weight, will you exercise more? Which exercises and for how long? Will you eat less? Eat healthier? Will you do a combination of these things?
If you want to quit smoking, will you stop cold turkey or cut back gradually? And, if cutting back, by how much and at what intervals? What will you do if a craving hits?
To get better grades, are you willing to study more? How much more? Will you join a study group or ask a teacher for extra help? Will you pay closer attention in class and take better notes?
If you want a higher paying job, will you update your resume? Check out job postings? Network? Seek training?
If you want organized closets, have you decided what things you are willing to throw away or give away? Are there items, such as boxes or additional shelving and hooks, that you must have in order to complete the project? Where will you get them?
These questions are just the beginning. The more details you add to your plan, the more likely it is that you will take the necessary steps toward achieving your goal.
2. A timeline. You may not always know the exact date by which you will achieve a goal, but you can mark on your calendar the times and dates that you will take each of the necessary steps. In other words, you can’t control when someone will offer you a job, but you can control when you will begin your job search, when you will send your resume out, and when and with whom you will network.
Time slips away quickly and goals are easily forgotten when a timeline is vague, such as when choosing to do something “sometime next week.” Be sure to write each step of your goal on a calendar or in an appointment book and then commit to following through on each one of those steps.
All of the desire in the world is no substitute for a goal that has a specific plan and a firm timeline. Let 2013 be your year of taking action and achieving your goals!
Michele P. Rousseau is a certified hypnotist and life coach in Middletown. For information, see http://micheleprousseau.com.