Spend more time with my family, go to the gym three times a week, learn to play guitar, write my diploma thesis and save for a new car. Besides that…
Does this illustrative list sound somewhat familiar? Many people set similar goals. A lot of them are doing it spontaneously as in the example. It would be nice if the list could be accomplished. The nice thing is that there are proven ways to get the most of it done.
At the very end of December, 2013 I did my little experiment to set five goals for the ending 2014. At the moment four of them are accomplished, the fifth was out of reach due to a physical trauma. So I had a successful New year. As I read into the subject, it became clear that I have fulfilled certain key requirements to get things done. This year there will be a remake of resolutions’ setting, this time with a theoretical background. So, what am I going to do?
Firstly, I will set realistic and measurable goals. To get better results at work is a realistic, but not a measurable goal (at least in this form). To win the lottery is a measurable, but an unrealistic goal.
Secondly, I will prioritize them and pick the most important ones, that I can count on the fingers of one hand. Anything else will be a loss of focus. A critical detail is that the resolutions won’t interfere with each other. Nearly everyone would want more time for himself, a better work performance and more time with the family. However, all the same time is mission impossible.
Thirdly, I break the goals in small steps and reward myself for accomplishing each step. This is a general guideline, as resolutions are very different, but the idea is to convert the accomplishment process into something pleasant and interesting. This is how the computer games work – a difficult objective, a lot of gaming levels to reach it and a lot of bonuses for excellent performance.
Fourthly, the deadlines. The whole year cannot be framed to the day. No time management, however, guarantees delays and procrastination.
Fifthly, and last one, control. I had a diary for one of the resolutions, for another one the control was external, personalizing in a nth generation gardener, who relentlessly criticized my garden, when I did something wrong. Be creative.
I wish you a successful New Year and to achieve your goals with ease!