What is your New Year Resolution? I do not have one.
This time of year millions of people will proclaim their New Years Resolution as a means to improve some condition or aspect of their lives like “Loss Weight”, “Spend more time with the Family”, or “Pay down my Credit Cards”. Year after year, statistic has shown that 80% of the New Years Resolutions set by those will be forgotten, given up, or ignored within the first 45 days. Thus, by Valentine’s Day the majority of New Years Resolutions made will be gone.
I do not set annual New Years Resolutions. I set GOALS! Once I became aware of the differences between “Stating a New Years Resolution” and “Setting a Goal”, my life has vastly improved both personally and professionally. For years, I have followed Goal Setting advice from the great motivational speakers like Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy, Dan Miller, and Dave Ramsey. Each of these individuals have similarly stated the differences between a New Years Resolution and Goal Setting. Basically, a New Years Resolution is a “Wish”. Wishes are basically “Dreams”, dreams without vision. Goals are considered “Dreams with a Vision”, because they expand more on the thought with intentions.
The following link is an audio file from Dave Ramsey’s Podcast. At the beginning of every year Dave recites his annual “Goals Setting” outline on his nationally syndicated radio talk show.
*** Listen to this audio file: Dave Ramsey on Setting Goals
(This is an older file from 2008, but the content still remains the same.)
Here is a brief outline of what Dave states in this Podcast…
5 Criterias of setting Goals: When setting your Goals, they must follow these 5 criteria.
- They must be Specific: Simply stating, “I want to lose weight” is NOT a Goal, it is a “Wish”. It must be specific like, “I want to lose 25 pounds”. Now, you have an exact number to work towards.
- They must have a Time-line: Now that there is a value established, there must be a time-line for you to reach that Goal like, “I want to lose 25 lbs by Spring Break or March 15th.”. This is a Goal of a specific value with a time-line set.
- They must be Measurable: Once a Time-line is set, then there must be a specific amount of periodical increments established like “I need to lose 2.25 lbs each week for 11 weeks”. This will establish the Measurable amounts that need to be achieved in increments.
- They must be your own Goals: It is often said that Goals need to be of your own willing intention and NOT the will of someone else. Simply stating, “My Wife wants me to lose weight” is not acceptable. You must be willing to set the Goal for your own benefit like “I want to lose 25 lbs to the sake of my Wife and Family”.
- They must be Written down: There is something magical about putting thought to pen and paper and NOT on electronic devices. Once you have made the conscience effort to write down your Goals, then you can be held accountable for your actions. You are making a written promise to yourself.
7 areas of Goals: Here are 7 different areas that Goals can be set to help improve your life.
- Career: How is your job? Do you like it? Do you wish it was better? Do you want a new one? It is amazing how many people I have met that HATE their jobs. I always ask, “Then why do you stay there?” As I am writing this column, I have already began looking for a new job. I was beginning to dislike working for my previous employer.
- Financial: How is your Financial status? Are you swimming in Debt? Financial Goals are the #1 New Years Resolution and Goals set each year. Do you to make more money or begin saving?
- Physical: How is your Physical condition? Are you out of shape? “Losing Weight” is the #2 New Years Resolution and Goals set each year.
- Spirtual/Metal: This may not be for everyone, but How is your Spiritual or Mental outlook on life? Regardless of your religion, do you have a sense of purpose spiritually? Are you driven to succeed or preform better than before? Positive Mental and Spiritual guidance can be very uplifting and motivating to anyone wanting to improve their lives.
- Intellectual: Is there a personal or professional skill that you want to learn or improve on? This is my personal favorite each year. I make it a point to learn a new skill for the entire year.
- Family: How is your Family life? Do you spend enough time together or too much? As the kids grow up, parents could consider spending more personal quality time together. On the flip-side, Dis-functional or Abusive Families could benefit from more time apart.
- Social: How is your Social Life? Are you Socially deprive or extroverted? For those who are lacking in social interaction, new activities with social groups can help them physically and mentally. For those who socially interact on an extreme levels, may find themselves in unhealthy or dangerous relationships, behaviors, and/or physical conditions. Thus, deciding to reduce or selectively chose their social interactions would be a benefit from this type of Goal. This has become especially true due to Social Media sources.
Finally, Goals are not considered to be absolute. They can be modified or amended. New Years Resolutions typically are “Given-up” or “Forgotten” until next year. However, Goals are meant to be achieved and maintained. Lets say that the Goal of losing 25lbs by March 15th was actually reached by February 28th. Do you just give up or stop the program? The answer is “NO!” You would then ask yourself, “Could I lose a little more weight?” or “How do I maintain this weight lost until Spring Break and the rest of the year?”. Likewise, if you did not lose the 25 lbs by March 15th, but you did lose 20 lbs instead,. Did you fail? Again, the answer is “NO!” You at least lost 20 lbs that otherwise would not have done, if it were just a New Years Resolution. The Goal can be extended by saying, “The extra 5 lbs needs to be gone by April 1st”. Thus, there is a new Goal in plan.
Good luck on setting and achieving your Goals for 2015!