Most people overestimate what they can do in one day but underestimate what they can do in a year
Is 2012 set up to be your year? Insert Year X here. How many times have you said “this is going to be the year”? I know I’ve done that and had minimal success until I started setting goals and following a plan.
You MUST have a plan to accomplish great things in life.
We need to reflect on 2011 and all that we accomplished (and didn’t). And then, look to 2012 and what CAN be. It’s easy to look back and see all the things you DIDN’T accomplish, that’s just the way a lot of us think – the perfectionist mentality. It’s so much more important to think about what you did accomplish – sometimes you have to dig deep.
As you reflect on 2011, it would be great if you had some sort of concrete list you created in early 2011 to compare your results to. Or, something you created at some point. If you’re really diligent, you may have a weekly or even monthly goal sheet. Let’s cut to the chase – the more you review your goals, the more you’re staying accountable and executing on them. I highly recommend at least a monthly review.
If you don’t have a concrete list for 2011, it’s a fresh year, and a great time to start.
I have a solution for you
Scott Dinsmore, from Live Your Legend, has published his 2012 goal setting guide. It’s a must do. I say “do” because it will take some work. Yes, doesn’t anything worth doing take work? That being said, I promise you’ll build momentum and a systematic approach to actually executing on what you’ve set out to do in 2012. Although I’ve always done some sort of goal setting, I was fortunate enough to get my hands on Scott’s 2011 guide. It helped tremendously.
Get the guide via the link right here:
I set my goals for 2011 and it became a great source of inspiration for me. I can’t tell you how much this became my compass and really helped me stay on course throughout the year. Sure, there were some areas that I fell short. I probably had…no, I know I had TOO MANY goals on my list. That being said, I know that I wouldn’t have met most of these ambitions without a guide and a plan.
I recently went through this exercise with his 2012 updated guide and it’s really helped me focus in on what I want to accomplish this year. Here are some keys that have helped me and I believe will help you as well.
GOAL SETTING KEYS
1 – Make them as concrete as possible – This is really important. I recommend writing them as if you’ve achieved them already. For example, I’d love to get my body fat under 10%. So, a good way to write it is something like this – “I am at or under 9.9% by April 30th, 2012.” Then, break this down even more. A good weekly goal for me is to workout at least 4 days. Plan your work, then work your plan. You will see in the LYL guide how to go about this.
2 – Understand your Why – Crucial, crucial step. A must do here….you have to think about this. This is where your motivation lies. Ok, so for me – BF under 10%. Sure, it’s to look good, but more important, it’s to feel good. On top of that – it will make me a better father, husband, performer at work, writer, etc. This makes these types of goals stick. Side note – I never used to think like this. Thanks to reading and learning about this type of stuff, I now get it. It’s one of those things you know, but until you really drill down, you don’t get.
4 – Keep it Simple – The old adage, “less is more”, rings true here. Setting 50 goals for the year is pretty ambitious and you’re probably setting yourself up for failure. Scott’s guide does a great job of narrowing down your areas of focus (in the wheel house for GTD fans out there) and then drilling down on each – setting 1-3 goals for each area (i.e. Health/Vitality, Financial, Work/Career)
5– Setup a consistent review (on your calendar) – I know for me it helps immensely if I don’t have to think about it. I’m a big believer in putting reminders/milestones on the calendar. So, each Friday, I have a goals review time set aside. Stay as disciplined as possible with this. I set aside an hour, but you be the judge on how much time you need.
6 – Be willing to change course – You’re not going to accomplish everything you set out to accomplish. It’s just the way it is. I guarantee you’ll be a hell of a lot closer to execution though because you formalize this stuff. Be nimble. If something needs to change, don’t be afraid to. If something needs taken off, take it off. Add when necessary as well. Remember, less is more. If you’re adding too many, you’re asking for trouble.
7 – Find a partner – I’m a big believer in partnering. Find someone you can work with on this. Send someone this guide and do it together. Maybe it’s a friend, partner, co-worker….doesn’t matter. Go through this process, and send them your goals sheet/document. Then, make sure you meet consistently.
As most of you know, I initially started 1440 in 2009 based on my experience with Getting Things Done. As I’ve utilized the GTD methodology over the years, I’ve realized my shortcomings with the higher levels. This includes the goal setting, vision and purpose areas. This may be the ultimate trap with GTD. You risk becoming caught in the daily grind of managing actions that you forget to look at the bigger picture. It takes discipline to step back and make sure you’re focused.
So….as you’re experiencing the excitement of a new year, take advantage of this energy. Look back on what went well (and not so well) in 2011. Use that leverage to look ahead at 2012.
It’s a new year with new possibilities. In the words of Steve Jobs, “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish.” Don’t hold anything back when thinking about what you can become.
Best of luck and I’m really looking forward to a great 2012 interacting with all of you.
Again, here’s the link to the guide. Feel free to pass it on. Scott has UN-copyrighted it!
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