The year is just about done! You’ve survived another twelve months that at some times felt like time was flying past and other times was dragging. For some, 2016 was a magical year while for others a challenging one. Either way, we’ll all agree that it was an adventurous year filled with unexpected events, surprise outcomes, joyful moments and heart-breaking sadness. Like a good soap opera… a bit of something for everyone.
December is usually a time for reflection where we look back over the past year, and look forward to the new one. We savour moments, events and people who made the year unique and special, and think about personal changes that we need to make or things that we want to do differently next year. We all have dreams and goals; some are large and will take proper planning while others are small. Then there are those niggly behaviours that we want to change; we want to stop this or that and start something else. Both involve that dreaded word “change”!
Planning on setting goals
Even with the best intentions, we sometimes don’t move forward towards change. We’ve got the willpower and desire, but external factors get in our way. We need to learn to prepare and expect these external factors and work with or around them. You may not be able to control your external environment; however, you can control how you choose to perceive them.
Are these factors excuses or opportunities?
Are they moments to be flexible, and realign our thinking so that we can achieve our goals?
The path to goal attainment is like a treasure hunt. You know you’ll get to the finish line but on the way, you encounter challenges, detours and obstacles. That’s life – it doesn’t flow in a straight line.
As you reflect on what changes you want to make next year, take some time to answer these 10 questions will crystalize your way forward and help you stick to your New Year’s resolutions:
What precisely do I want to change?
- What will I gain from the change?
- Out of a score of 1 to 10, how much do I value the outcome?
- What are my options to reach my goal?
- How am I going to track my progress?
- Whose support can I count on?
- What will indicate that I am stuck?
- When am I going to start?
- What action am I going to take in the next 3 hours, 3 days and 3 months?
- Who is going to partner with me and hold me accountable?
Often, we don’t have the discipline to hold ourselves accountable. It’s human nature to find reasons when we start going off track. We don’t have the willpower to stay outside of our comfort zone, and it takes loads of energy to persistently do something differently and progress is at a snail’s pace.
When you’re working towards stretch ‘Everest goals’ it is advisable to have a coach and mentor by your side. It’s important to do this right from the start and not only when it gets tough. Find someone to cheer you on, be your sounding board and raise you up when you are feeling low.