This year, I only have two New Year’s resolutions: avoid getting parking tickets and stop losing so many umbrellas. That’s it. They’re simple because my true goals are not made on the first day of every year. It’s going to be the busiest time of the year for all fitness gyms as they sign on new members looking to get in shape, yet most gym employees will readily admit that 95% of new members will not show up after the first month.
Let’s stop the vicious cycle of making a sudden drastic change that goes nowhere and get something really accomplished.
Real goals are concrete, written down, and reviewed constantly. I’m constantly on top of my goals, on track, and revising them as I meet them. If you haven’t tried writing down your goals yet, it’s pretty simple. Write them in every major category: health, wealth, career, family, relationships, spirituality, adventure, mental (new skills). Write them for what you would like to reasonably achieve a year from now. Then, write your 3 year, 5 year, and 10 year goals.
Next, comes the most important part: reviewing your goals constantly. I recommend journaling, either paper or digital. Some people swear that pen and paper does wonders as the handwritten process makes them more connected with their written goals. I review them via a digital journal, and I often have so much to write. At first, review them at least 2 or 3 times a week and write about how you’re on track with your goals or what plans you have to achieve them. After half a year, you may tone it down to a weekly activity, but at least make sure you’re reading them.
Regardless, there’s magic in writing your goals. I can attest to that. Somehow, it activates your subconscious, and before you know it, you’re slowly moving towards many of them in some shape or form. You’ll start taking action and procrastinate less.
In the book What They Don’t Teach You At Harvard Business School by Mark McCormack, a well-known study of Harvard grads and goals was conducted. Ten years after graduation, 13 percent of the class who were aware of their goals, were earning, on average, twice as much as the 84 percent who had no goals at all. More interestingly, three percent of the class who had clear, written goals were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97 percent put together.
A year from now, when you’re reviewing them for at least the 100th time and scoffing at New Year’s Resolutions, you’ll realize you might have to revise many of your goals because you’ve met them sooner than you’ve thought. Or, you might have gained some new insight and have moved into a completely positive new direction altogether. This happens when you make a drastic change in your life, such as a career change, ending of a bad relationship, move, etc. For example, in my case, as I developed new levels of thinking, I found I wanted to develop my spiritual goals, and my material goals (wealth) became less important. Many of the things I used to want I no longer desired.
Just don’t be afraid of change. You need it to strengthen you. The core of a person’s spirit is new experiences.
Seriously though, no matter how hard I try, I keep getting parking tickets no matter how hard I try to avoid them, especially in Toronto. And those umbrellas. I think I need an alarm that activates when I walk more than 50 meters away from mine.