Break out the 2014 sheet of paper with our goals on it and use it to light the fire in the fireplace. 2014 is over and the list of goals on that piece of paper were either completed, in motion or never left the page. If you are one of the few people that wrote your goals on a piece of paper - congratulations! If you actually looked at that piece of paper with the goals and did something about it (besides lighting the fire), a hearty congratulations, a handshake and a pat on the back! I have a confession to make (and it is not that my name is Fielding Mellish); I do not have a tightly rolled piece of paper to use at the fireplace. I have never written down my annual goals. Yeah, I loosely have an idea about my goals, but they are firmly lodged in my head. Truth is that I do not write them down because I have a fear that I will fail on following through. No written goals = no failure = (unfortunately) no action taken.
I found out that I am not alone. Based on the University of Scranton New Year’s Resolution Statistics study, only 46% of Americans usually make resolutions, with only 8% actually achieving success. For such a small success, it seems like I am now in the majority for not trying… OK, that is a pathetic way to rationalize myself. Based on that thinking, I consciously decided that I would have no goals for 2014 and I am excited to say I have been highly successful at reaching nothing. I have only succeeded in applying the excuse up front so that I do not have to bother with a set of annual goals. I have certainly read enough materials from thought leaders, academic studies, and courses I have taken over time that stress physically writing the goals down on a paper helps to hard wire the goal to brain, which increases the likelyhood of having success. In addition, our goals should be realistic and have a date on when we will accomplish them.
Question is – can I make it to become a member of that 8%? Raise your hand if you are willing to do an experiment. I am going to present three attainable goals then revisit them at the end of 2015. If I have success, I will continue, if not, there is a lesson learned in the exercise. If you raised your hand, you should write down your three goals. Now the hard part, my three attainable goals:
- I want to lose weight: Goal – lose 5 pounds in 5 months (that would put me at 174 by May). I will do this with healthy eating choices.
- I do not exercise: Goal – 10 to 15 minutes a day (5 days a week) doing some exercise which I can do at home with minimal cost (i.e., planking, sit ups, etc.) for the entire year.
- I would like to do some public speaking: Goal – Get my first official paid speaking engagement in 2015, and keep practicing at my Toastmasters chapter.
Nothing too serious, but each potentially attainable, now comes the part where I commit to these goals, so that I do not “eat my words” next December…