Resolutions are a complete waste of time. And for that matter, so are most goals we set for ourselves!
If you’ve followed me for at least a year, this proclamation probably comes as a surprise since I’ve written about goals here and just last week here. Don’t worry; I am not against setting goals. I do it for myself every year and have for many years. But they have to be the right kind of goals!
Resolutions are a waste of time because of the 62% of American who set resolutions, 25% give up by the end of the first week! A full third of people give up in only two weeks!
Those that set goals are no better. A whopping 92% fail at whatever goal they set!
Why aren’t more of us more successful at achieving our goals? The answer, I think, is that we usually set the wrong kind of goals.
Michael Hyatt identified three kinds of goals: goals in the comfort zone, goals in the discomfort zone, and goals in the delusional zone.
1) Comfort zone goals are ones you know you can achieve. Nothing truly meaningful happens in the comfort zone. I bet some the goals people report achieving were right smack dab in the middle of the comfort zone.
2) Discomfort zone goals are goals that will stretch you. You may not know how you will achieve them, but achieving them will make a big impact in your life.
3) Delusional zone goals are the goals that are never going to happen, and you should know it! I have never played a round of golf scoring under 100, so a goal to play on the senior tour is downright delusional.
Goals that will make a difference in your life and mine are not the comfort zone or delusional zone goals. The big difference in our lives will always come from achieving discomfort zone goals. Life changing goals are somewhere between the comfort zone, “I got this” and the delusional zone, “You got to be smoking something.”
SMART Goals are the Best Goals
The SMART goal acronym has been around in business circles for a while, but if you are unfamiliar with it, it stands for goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
- Specific. A goal to “lose weight” is not specific. How will you know if you have succeeded? A goal to “Lose ten pounds” is specific.
- Measurable. A goal to “lower my golf score” is not specific enough and it doesn’t quantify success. Is a lower score of one stroke success, or is a lower score by ten strokes success?
- Achievable. A goal for me to play professional baseball is not achievable (anyone who saw me play high school ball would agree). A goal to “lose 100-lbs. in 30 days” is specific and measurable but it is not achievable.
- Relevant. A goal that is relevant to me is one that will support the accomplishment of other goals, or at a minimum, not distract from your ability to achieve other important goals.
- Time-bound. A goal with a deadline has a sense of urgency. Without a deadline, a goal could go on forever and never be accomplished.
Accountability and the Why of My 2017 Goals
Along with establishing SMART goals, another aspect of people who are more successful in achieving their goals is to have an accountability partner; someone or several people who can hold you accountable for your progress. Once I’ve established my 2017 goals, I will share them with a couple of people I trust who will hold me accountable for my progress.
The final aspect of successfully increasing the rate of goal success is to know your “why.” Your “why” ties you to your goal. I didn’t achieve my weight goal last year because I lost track of why I wanted to lose the weight. If you don’t know and internalize your “why” you are doomed. This year once I have written out my SMART goals I will include a statement that reinforces the “why” of each goal. This will help remind me of why I set each goal when I get into a slump and feel my motivation waning.
Join the Conversation
As always, questions and comments are welcome. If you set goals for yourself which zone are your goals in? Do you set SMART goals? Do you know the “why” of each goal?
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Category: Personal Development | Priorities