‘Tis the season…for New Year Resolutions. To that I say, bah humbug. Why? I feel that resolutions set the resolver up with unrealistic expectations and a recipe for failure. Why? I think that many people make resolutions that are perhaps vague, “I want to lose weight” or “I want to grow my business” or “I need to make better use of my time, both at work and in my leisure.” What do any of these resolutions mean? Do they have measurable outcomes? Not when they are so vague, they don’t.
Consider this… I always want to “lose weight” and the beginning of the year always makes me think that I need to cultivate better health habits, but you know what? In New York in the winter it is bitter cold and most times knee deep snow. Who wants to walk in that? For me, walking is my exercise of choice, in case you were wondering at the connection. That being said, because I want to lose weight and get more exercise, I bought a small treadmill for my office so now my goal is to, “walk on the treadmill at least ten minutes every hour and eat more healthy meals,” the ultimate outcome, hopefully will be that I have lost weight. With the “walking on the treadmill ten minutes every hour” I have set a measurable goal.
“Eating more healthy meals” is still vague. What I should resolve to do is, “not eat cookies for breakfast” or “make a lunch at home rather than buying fast food” or “planning dinners so I am not stressed and tossing prepared foods into kettles for our meals.” With these goals I have set down something that I can track and viola (hopefully) my walking and my healthy eating will help me… lose weight! Do you see where I am going with this?
If you look at the new year as a chance for a new start take some time this weekend and write down all that you want to accomplish in 2015 whether it’s lose weight, grow your business or write a book. Take each of your “big goals” then come up with metrics that will allow you to measure and track progress. I’ve already discussed the “lose weight” but if you look at “grow your business” you should put numbers to that whether it’s X number of new clients or X amount of new dollars and then break that down further into the steps you can take to bring in those new clients or that additional money.
Remember if you can’t measure a goal or an outcome, it is much harder to achieve because of its inherent vagueness.
What will you do this year to set and meet goals?