Because it’s the beginning of the new year, I must talk about resolutions like everybody else! — But with a little twist. Keeping resolutions is hard, right? How are you doing with yours? I can’t count the number of times in my youth, that I ‘resolved’ to lose a few pounds over the winter to have a beach body come summer. What do you think happened? 😊
So let’s talk about the difference between resolutions and what I know is the much better way to go- having goals. As business people this is absolutely crucial to a successful business.
First, let me define terms. What is a resolution? A resolution is a statement you make to resolve an issue that you’ve been thinking about, that you haven’t done yet. Something that you know you should do perhaps but haven’t been able to do.
We say, “I want to (of course) lose the Covid 15 or 20lbs I put on since this whole thing started.” That probably is one of the big ones, but there are so many things that you probably want to resolve — to have your business run more smoothly, to have your relationships be richer, to get along with people, to forgive people, to not be angry, not get all upset over nothing. Lots and lots of things you want to resolve. The resolution is the key you hope will unlock your happiness.
Well, okay, that’s fine but a resolution is really just a wish. It’s meaningless because wishes don’t come true without work. There are things you have to do in order to fulfill that resolution.
A goal, on the other hand, is a well-thought-out plan that is first conceived in mind and then committed to paper with specific dates and numbers. You want to accomplish what you set out in mind. So you set up your goal.
And this is how you do it.
1. There is a crucial step you must take so that you can determine the right goal for the right time. And that is to set aside time to get quiet, to practice what I call ‘meditative contemplation’. In this receptive state, you are actively listening to your internal wisdom to guide you in the right direction to accomplish your goals. If you are truly listening with an open mind, you will receive the answers to your request.
It is necessary to realize the places you want to go in your life and how to get there, and what you need to do to get there. Those are the things you’re going to write down once you’ve imagined what they should be.
2. The next thing (and absolutely without a doubt you have to do this) is to write down the goals you have been given. Harvard did a longitudinal study and found that the people who wrote down their goals were much more successful in their lives and accomplished the things that they wanted to accomplish as opposed to those who just said “I’m going to make $150,000 this year” but didn’t write it down. So, this is an essential tool that you must put into practice– to write down your goals.
Let me mention here that the big difference between the resolution and the goal is your willingness to allot space to uncover the steps you will need to take to get to your goal. This is the hardest part of achieving success.
3. Once you have written down your big, transformative goal, you will need to seek the quiet again to come up with a plan to get the goal done.
It is important to have your goals in alignment with your plans because you want to be ready to invite joy into your life. And that will happen when you have a you have a clear vision of what you are to do.
Write down your six month goal, your three month goal, your 1 month goal, and then your weekly and finally, your daily goals. By chunking down the big complex goal into smaller steps, you are creating a workable plan to get it done! I have my list right in front of me and I love when I can cross one task off at a time.
4. Put your list where you can see it. I advise that you write everything down on a big piece of paper and put it where it is constantly visible to you. This way, you keep it fresh in your mind, even if you’re not reading the words every minute. They are in front of you, sinking into your sub-conscious.
It’s one thing to write things down but if you stick it away somewhere and you don’t look at it, that’s not going to be as effective. So, keep it in view. This will help you to maintain your discipline. You will better keep your focus, because you’ll look at those goals and say, “I was gonna go pet the dog (and I’m not saying you shouldn’t pet your dog) but maybe that’s not what I need to do at this moment.” Maybe you need to do that small act that will take you closer to accomplish the goal.
By improving your ability to get your goals done, you are bolstering your self-confidence, which will set you up for what I’m going to be talking about for the next few weeks—finding and keeping joy in your life.
So take that big bucket goal and pour out a little task one at a time, and you will build your joy. In the morning, make your list for the day. You may add things to it; maybe you don’t get everything on the list done but it helps you maintain your discipline, so that you don’t go wandering around wasting time and not accomplishing what is important to your joy.
You are doing valuable work. You have your expertise that you can offer to the people in your life who need it, so it’s absolutely crucial that you do everything in your power to feel good, to feel energized, to feel excited, and to want to offer your best to your clients and customers. You do this by creating and reaching your goals.
5. One more thing-celebrate! Make sure you celebrate appropriately. It doesn’t have to be anything outrageous or expensive (maybe you don’t want to eat that big piece of chocolate cake.) You might want to take a walk in nature. That’s one way I celebrate my small wins. Or you may want to call a friend and share your good news. Crow a little bit. It’s certainly not being arrogant, it’s being joyful! Share it with people who you know will say “that’s great, that’s wonderful. I’m so happy that you were able to do that!”
All right! So no more resolutions! You’re going to create goals instead. Goals are concrete, they’re written down. You can see them and keep working toward them. Working toward JOY!
Peace and love always,
In my new book, Calm, Creative, Joyful: Lessons in Transforming Your Life, you will acquire abilities you didn’t know you had, to transform the thoughts that hurt so that your life becomes a play of endless opportunities for success and happiness.
Available on Amazon.
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