How’s everyone doing on those New Year’s Resolutions? Or do you not want to call them that? That’s fine too. There’s a lot of stigma around that term- and a built in expectation that we’ll all fail out by the end of the month.
What if you didn’t have to?
What if you could develop a system to help you succeed at whatever it is you want to do this year?
Good news: it is totally, completely, 100% possible for you to achieve all of your goals this year.
Bad news: you will have to work for it.
Resolutions are really just goals. You’re resolving to do something. Planning to do it. Making a goal of doing it.
Goals are “the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result”. Seems pretty familiar, right? Here’s what that definition won’t tell you: A goal is more than a plan, dream, or wish.
A plan is “a detailed proposal for doing or achieving something”. Plans tell you the steps. Plans are firm. Plans help you prepare. A fire escape plan. A financial plan.
A dream is to “contemplate the possibility of doing something”. You think about it. You build Pinterest boards about it. You visualize it. A dream vacation, a dream job, dream house, car, or partner.
A wish is when you “feel or express a strong desire or hope for something that is not easily attainable”. We wish upon stars. We wish for big things: world peace, Christmas presents as children.
Dreams and wishes are similar in that in both cases, we are devoting some significant brain power to something without any thought to forward momentum. There’s no plan of action. There’s no urgency. “Someday I’ll run a marathon” is not a goal; it’s a dream. “Someday I’ll be brave enough to be good at public speaking” is not a goal; it’s a wish. Don’t get me wrong, I want you to wish and to dream. Dream big. Wish for things you can’t hardly picture. Dream about the future, your career, your financial status. Do all of that.
Dreams and wishes, though, are what we build plans and goals out of. They’re the building blocks. The meat and potatoes of a goal. You’ve got to have them, or there’s no substance. But they aren’t the whole meal- and certainly not the fork, which is how you get those meat and potatoes into your life.
Goals are plans with dreams. Think about that one for a minute. If your dream is to be a runner, for example, in order to make it a goal, you have to make a plan. “I want to be a runner” has no momentum. How will you know when you are a runner? How long should that take you? This is where your plan comes in. Sit down, and really bite into that dream. How will you know when you’re a runner? Is it when you can run one mile or 26? Is it when you get your first medal or get under a certain time? In this example, we’ll say that I’ll know I’m a runner (fulfilling my dream) when I run a marathon. So now the GOAL becomes “to run a marathon”. But our goals should also be on a timetable. If all I say is “I want to run a marathon before I die”, that gives me (I hope!) lots of time to procrastinate. If, however, I say that I want to run a marathon this year, well, I’d better get cracking. So now the goal reads “I want to run a marathon during 2018”. Now that’s something!
From there, we can break the goal down into bite size plan chunks: I will run a 5k before Easter, or I’ll run a July 4 half marathon. I like LOTS of bite size chunks (or mini goals). It makes the whole thing seem less overwhelming and scary.
So, to recap: first step: dream with all of your heart and creativity. Wish for things. Get BIG. Think of things that scare you and excite you all at once. Then think about how you can achieve them and make them a reality. Set a time limit and a specific way of achieving that dream. And then find the action steps to get you there.
I’m not a math person, but maybe the formula looks like this:
So with that in mind, let me tell you a few of my goals for the new year:
- I want an unsupported handstand before my next birthday (November)
to that end, I have decided to commit myself to 100 days of pushups and planks, as well as reinvigorating my yoga practice and periodic tries at my handstands (supported, for now!)
- I want to be debt free (except maybe a mortgage payment?) in ten years.
I’m saving a little bit every week so that I can start paying extra on my debt. I’m also cutting unnecessary expenses where possible.
I hope this helps you realize that you can achieve and earn all of your dreams. It is totally possible. But you will have to work for it! Thinking about the things you want is great. Going and getting them?
That’s Superhero Living.
Superhero Action of the day: What are your goals? I want to hear all about them.