Are you finding yourself making the same resolutions every new year, only to watch your aspirations drown in a pool of champagne on December 31?
If your life feels like it lacks the value of your investment portfolio, you need to break the cycle. Challenge yourself that 2020 is not going to end up like that! By applying a data-driven approach and sticking to goals, you can realize growth each year and avoid stagnation.
First, I recommend that you put everything on paper. You’ll not only become a better person by following these tips, but you’ll have the documentation to prove it.
Here’s 6 tips to checking off yes to your goals in 2020:
1. Create Resolutions that Align with Your Life Mission
I’m a firm believer that you need purpose in order to succeed in life and in business. A sense of purpose is the passion that fuels you when obstacles get in your way. It’s the gas that gives your engine a little more go, even when the hills seem daunting. When you have developed and determined to understand what your purpose is in life, making resolutions becomes more meaningful. Instead of empty promises based on hopes, you’re adding value to your life’s mission with concrete determiation. Each year is another chapter in your ongoing development, every goal realized is another rung on the ladder of what you have set as your own personal success measurement. You’re pursuing actions that fulfill your personal mission statement. You have one life to live: it’s not your dad’s, nor your son’s, it is yours. Your business should also have a mission statement. Develop not just the “what” but the “why” for what you do. If you need a boost in developing a mission statement for your business, I recommend this template.
2. Set Goals that Propel You Forward
Stop making “New Year’s resolutions,” and start setting realistic goals you’re determined to achieve that propel you forward. Don’t just cherry pick the low-hanging fruit in your life. Everyone says “lose 5 pounds.” That’s the result. The goal should be to become more fit, to work out a set amount of time every day or week, to eat more healthy foods, to stop snacking, to get off your butt and take a walk during downtime. Your short-term goals every day, every week, and every month should all tie into your one-year goal. Instead of starting from scratch every year with a generic resolution to lose those pounds, annual goals become cumulative toward your overall long-term goals: becoming physically fit to maintain health in order to be your best self.
3. Maintain Timelines
Achieving goals is all about setting timelines and deadlines and holding yourself accountable. If you want to save money, set an exact dollar amount for each paycheck; treat this saving as seriously as any other bill in your life. Use your pay frequency to create a 12-month outline of exactly when and how you’re going to deposit that set amount into your account, and set it up. If you purpose to read a book a month, select the books, determine the number of chapters required per week, and block the time on your calendar like any other appointment. Poor planning makes for poor performance. Set timelines for your goals, and you’ll meet them. Follow through on your outline, and you’ll naturally improve over time.
4. Budgeting Finances and Time
It’s easy to dream, but funding a healthier lifestyle is another matter. There’s a reason they call it “Whole Paycheck.” It should say something when water costs more than soda in many gas stations. While you should always dream big, resolutions need to be set within a realistic budget. We’d all love to say “I’m only eating organic, hormone-free, Keto-friendly, Paleo….” But can your budget afford it? Perhaps a sacrifice must be made: pick the top 5 best fruits and veggies to buy organic, and leave the rest alone. Can you manage the time commitment to always eat Keto/Paleo? Perhaps instead utilize a meal delivery service. We’d all love to have a personal chef or work a 4 hour week, but your goals won’t happen if you don’t have the money in hand or the time. If you can’t afford your resolution this year, then your short-term goals should be to improve your financial/time situation so you can achieve it next year.
5. Develop a Growth Mentality
Every year, you should be leveling up from the previous year, meaning you should be slightly improving in your career and your personal life every year. Every year you should feel closer to achieving the mission of your life plan. Plateauing, stasis, status quo — these are buzzwords we’re all familiar with and no one likes to think they’ve “leveled out.” If you’re not growing, you’re likely shrinking. The world won’t wait for you to catch up. You have to push yourself every year, drive yourself a little harder than last year, think a little smarter, learn a little more, develop yourself constantly. If you feel like you can’t manage personal and professional growth every year, it’s time to change your mindset. Focus on growing and winning, and you’ll always be pushing toward the next rung in that ladder of success.
6. Push Past the “I’m Done” Phase
If you work out, you’ll know what I mean when you’ve been lifting heavy weights for half an hour, intermittently pushing squats and burpees like you’re training for Kilimanjaro. There comes a point when “I’m done.” I can’t do another squat or get my biceps to complete this last set. Take a deep breath and push through it and you’ll find you managed. Life is hard, and nothing worthwhile comes easy to any of us. Don’t get discouraged when you fail or are rejected or don’t achieve your goal as quickly as you intended. Mistakes happen. Challenges overwhelm. Everyone fails or gets kicked in the teeth, but successful people are the ones who get back up, and push harder than they thought possible. Winston Churchill is known to have said “success is going from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” If you’ve ever read a biography of him, you’ll see that he did just that in his early career, and went on to become one of our world’s most strategic military leaders and one of the most prolific historians of the era. When you learn to overcome obstacles with panache, you’ll find you’re more resilient than you ever thought possible. Push yourself past exhaustion; pull yourself through the mire; and you’ll find yourself looking back saying “look how far I’ve come.”
By following these six steps, you’ll break free from the cycle of empty resolutions leaving you discouraged at year’s end. Create a new you this year and every year by making and achieving realistic goals.