2012 is here. How many of your 2011 goals remain unaccomplished? How many times have you committed to making the same New Years resolutions, year after year. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results, so if you have been juggling multiple goals year after year then its time to stop. Here are the 10 most REPEATED New Years Resolutions:
- Lose Weight
- Go back to School
- Improve Relationships
- Eat Better
- Quit Smoking
- Get out of Debt
- Get a Better Job
- Stop Drinking
- Learn Something New
- Get Organized
#1 – Laser Like focus
If you want to dig a big hole, you need to stay in one place.
If you walk around town with a little shovel, you’ll just end up digging thousands of little holes, not one big one.
Call on one person ten times and you might make the sale. Call on ten people once each and you will likely get ten rejections.
– Seth Godin
Once you have figured out what it is that you want to succeed at, you must commit to that one and only action with laser like focus. Determine which one of your goals is the most important, spend all of your excess effort on the accomplishment of that one goal, and only after it is complete do you move on to the next goal.
This key should also be applied to your daily to do list as well. Most people go into work with as many as 15 items on their to-do lists, but the most effective managers identify only three top priorities each day. And their self-esteem is stroked repeatedly when they cross off all three tasks, day after day.
#2 – Time management
First off, Shouts out to Bryan Ogilvie at Todays Transcendence for his insights on time management. They inspired this key, and his site should have been added to our list of 100 Best Websites.
Finding the time to accomplish your goals has a lot to do with whether or not they actually get done. Oftentimes, we get so caught up in our day (rush hour, putting out fires at work, handling family issues, PTA meetings) that at the end of the workday the energy to start working on your goals just inst there. To prevent this from happening, you have got to make time specifically to work on your goal by writing them into your schedule. This may mean compressing less important but still necessary tasks (like filing, answering emails, returning phone calls, etc) into shorter time periods. When I worked in sales I would schedule what I called “power hours” where I would focus on and do nothing but hit the phones. It took me one hour to meet my daily objective when others would take all day to accomplish the same amount of work – an idea I borrowed from Pursuit of Happyness.
I should mention that when it comes to taking on tasks and doing favors (i.e. one of your associates stops by and says “excuse me, could you do me a quick favor?”) the two-letter word no is the single most effective time management tool there is.
Entire books can be written on the subject of time management, and have been. The absolute best is Getting Things Done by David Allen. This book has created an entire subculture of productivity addicts, and if used properly, the seconds you save become minutes and minutes become hours – creating time that you thought you didn’t have before.
#3 – Tools and Resources
As soon as you have decided what you want to accomplish, you will need to assemble the right tools to get the job done. If your goal is to finish college in 2 years, you will need to get the tools necessary to complete assignments as quickly as possible, such as a laptop, study guides, and agendas. If you are trying to get out of debt, tools like The Total Money Makeover with Deluxe Executive Envelope System and financial software like Quicken Deluxe 2009 would help you reach your goal faster than trying to scramble around and pay your bills as notices come in the mail. You wouldn’t try to fix a car with your bare hands, don’t try to fix your life without the right tools. In an upcoming post I will give you a list of the best online and academic resources to help you accomplish some of the most common goals that go unachieved.
#4 – Discipline
In my earlier post I wrote discipline is a practice, it must be worked at and maintained despite your feelings. There will be mornings you dont want to go to the gym, there will be evenings when you would rather go out with friends than work on a goal that you have had for years but never accomplished. Having the discipline to ignore your internal whining and get it done will mean the difference between writing that book or having it as one of your 2015 New Years Resolutions. Without discipline, you may as well stop wasting your time. However, don’t get discouraged if you slip up while building up your discipline; discipline is a practice and takes time to build. Stick to your schedule as best you can, get a support group, keep your motivation level high, and you will make progress.
I have kept these points short intentionally, since there is tons of information on the web and Amazon on the subject. I encourage you to get serious about accomplishing your goals by delving into each point at Todays Transcendence, and checking out a few of these books that I have on my shelf:
If you were to apply these traits independent of one another, you will experience success to some degree or another, but put them together and you are almost guaranteed to accomplish your goals. Peace!