It’s a tradition to set your 2021 goals or make a few new year resolutions. The best ideas tend to come between the fourth margarita and right before the third tequila shot on New Years Eve.
We tell ourselves that setting goals at the beginning of the year helps us start it right. Just like we tell ourselves that beginning a task on a Monday is going to guarantee success.
However, in reality, what guarantees our success comes down to how you set your 2021 goals. If you really want to get your year off to the right start, then follow these tips if you want to make sure they remain by the time February rolls around.
Ask Yourself if You’re in Control of the Outcome
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when they set 2021 goals is choosing outcomes they have no control over.
It might be that you’re going to head to the beach every day in the summer to rest and relax. But what if it rains? You’ve immediately failed this goal.
The same can be said for walking or running every day. Once you miss one or two days in a row, you instantly feel defeated and give up on this resolution.
So before you set a goal in stone, ask yourself if you’re 100% in control of achieving this. If not, then you’re better off picking something else.
Focus on the Habit Rather Than the Outcome
Another habit many of us make when we set our 2021 goals is using the outcome as the resolution.
So you might decide that you’re going to lose 10 kg by December 31, or your bank account is going to have $10,000 more than it did last year. Whatever it may be, it’s based on the outcome you want to achieve.
It’s one of the aspects defined in SMART goals (Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound). But have you ever met someone who has achieved a SMART goal. While it makes for a clever acronym, it only sets you up for failure.
Instead, you’re better off using these outcomes as a way to measure your success. So set your 2021 goals to be something like you’re going to exercise three times a week, every week, this year. The outcome you’re expecting from working out this often is that you’ll lose 10 kg by December 31.
You’ll find yourself focussing on achieving the task of exercising three times a week rather than stressing over a number or outcome.
Do They Motivate You?
Goals are meant to be motivational. It’s something that you want to achieve or has meaning to you.
If you’re not motivated by a goal, and it feels like a chore, then ditch it. If it’s something that needs to be done, but you have no interest in it, then try to find a way to spice it up.
One trick is to add a reward system to it. For example, if one of your goals is getting your reports in on time every week or staying on top of your admin, then reward yourself for achieving this task. When you do get your work done on time, treat yourself with some chocolate, a glass of wine, or something that makes you feel spoilt.
Can You Measure the Outcome?
The way our minds work is that we are satisfied by progression. So with your goals, it should be something that you can track or measure the outcome so you can ensure what you’re doing is working.
A bank account is easy. You can watch it grow and get excited when three digits become four, then five, and maybe one day six. The same for weight, watching the numbers on the scales reduce can motivate you to keep going.
Some goals might be just to maintain performance. In these instances, measure it like a winning streak. How many weeks in a row can you keep this level of success going? How many times can you achieve your sales target consecutively? How many months in a row can you stay above a certain customer satisfaction score? Consider these types of measurements to mix up your resolutions.
Can You Build Upon It?
Twelve months is a long time. You need to consider the possibility that you might achieve your 2021 goals early. So what do you do then?
Try to set something that you can build upon if you reach your resolution early. For example, you might have decided you’re going to coach your team three times a week, every week, and the outcome you’re measuring is a specific customer satisfaction score. What if you hit that number in March?
You could see how many weeks in a row you can maintain this number, or you can lift it and try for an even better outcome. You could also increase the number of days you want to coach each week to coincide with the new result you’re chasing.
Think about how you’re going to build upon this goal in 2022 as well. Knowing that you achieved something in 2021 will make next year feel much more achievable.
Don’t Compare Your 2021 Goals to Friends and Family
A lot of us tend to make mistakes by comparing our 2021 goals to other people we know. However, it’s highly unlikely that your friends or family are in the exact same place that you’re in. The same goes for other teams within your business. Unless your performance is 100% identical, you should set your own goals that you want your team to achieve instead of comparing it to another group.
This isn’t to say that you can’t learn from your friends and family as to how they achieved their goals or resolutions. But you shouldn’t try to mirror it and instead work out where you are and where you want to be.
What do You do Now You’ve Set Your 2021 Goals?
Setting your 2021 goals is just half the battle. Now you need to know how you’re going to achieve them. This is something we’ll delve deeper into in another article this week.
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