I know today is a holiday. I know it is football day, too (one of the many this time of year). But also, it is a day of renewal. It is a natural breaking point between the old and the new. People traditionally create what they call “New Year’s resolutions” on this day. But why do we do so poorly in keeping our resolutions? I think one of the problems is that a calendar year is a pretty big chunk of time. We make these resolutions with the hope of creating a lifelong change and so we say “I resolve that I will be this way, do this thing, from this day forth.” Still, this is a big chunk of time and for most of us our minds see it as too big a chunk of time to effectively work with.
Goal-setting is a good thing, a great thing in my book. But you have to work with time and the size of your goal. Your mind will not work well with a huge goal, whether the goal itself seems large or the amount of time you are expecting yourself to do it. If you see your goal as huge, it feels overwhelming. When something is overwhelming, we don’t stick with it. You will have the greatest chance of success if you “chunk it down” into manageable steps.
Try this simple exercise as you set your 2014 goal – imagine yourself on December 31, 2014. Where do you want to be? What do you want to be doing? What do you want to have generated for yourself and your business? Write that down in clear detail.
Then break it down into milestones.
- If you will be there on December 31, where will you need to be September 30? June 30? March 31? Write down these quarterly goals.
- Once you have quarterly goals that add up to you achieving the December 31 goal, then break it down further. If you are going to be where you want on March 31, where will you need to be January 31? February 28? Write down those monthly goals.
- And if you will be there on January 31, where will you need to be at the end of this week and the next and the next? Write down those weekly goals.
- And if you are going to be there at the end of next week, what do you need to do today? Write down your daily goals.
Then create a system where you can stay grounded in your goals. Commit yourself to your daily goals. Keep your annual goal in front of you as a guidepost. I put my annual goals up on the wall of my office. They are colorfully printed. I constantly look at my goals and I ask myself, “Is what I am doing right now moving me toward any of those goals?” If not (and frequently I find I am taking action that is not toward my goals) then I ask myself, “Do I really want to spend time on this if it is not helping me achieve my goal?” This is a great way to stay intentional, purposeful and on track.
There is a psychology to goal-setting and to goal attainment or non-attainment. The greatest factors for success or failure have to do with your attitude towards the goal, your feelings about how attainable the goals are. When you chunk them down, you set yourself up for success.
Do it today – after the football game of course. Or tomorrow. Just do it. Capture your success!