Monday, January 7, 2013

Getting to Goal: Get Golden!

It is my favorite time of the year! So this four-week series will focus on how to create and achieve Golden Goals ... goals you can't wait to accomplish!

If you have been reading this blog for more than a year, you'd know that for me, the best holiday of the holiday season isn't Thanksgiving, Black Friday, or Christmas. It isn't Kwanzaa or Hanukkah either. It's New Years. I love New Years because like the name says, it's a new year. It's a time for fresh starts and clean slates. It's a time filled with optimism and forward thinking.

Every year, the practice of making New Year's resolutions falls a little more out of favor. Less than half of Americans actually make resolutions now! My theory is that failure is embedded within the concept of resolutions. We resolve to do something differently - to lose weight, get out of debt, start/end a relationship, find a new job. Yet, what is resolve? The dictionary says it is to decide to do something. Okay ... see the problem yet?

To make a major change (which is what most resolutions are) it takes a lot more than resolve. Deciding to do something is just the first step. Actually, the real first step isn't deciding to do something. The real first step is figuring out what you really want to do in the first place.

"What is she talking about?" you say to yourself as you read this. "Of course I want to lose weight /save money / buy a house / go back to school/ fill-in-the-blank." But do you?

You know you should stop smoking. However, your health isn't suffering. You like taking your smoke breaks at work. Basically, you are pretty content with the status quo. Yet, you really should stop smoking. So you resolve to do it because society and your mother says you should. Now, what are the chances that you will stop smoking? I'll tell you - slim to none.

Now, if you got winded playing with the kids or got a bad report from the doctor, you might decide for yourself that you are ready to stop. It's still going to be hard but you have those kids or your health to think about and you are ready to do this. Now, the chances of you kicking the habit are a lot greater.

So look at your goals and then decide which ones you are really excited about achieving for yourself. What are the goals you are motivated to achieve? It's okay to cross them off your list if you aren't willing to put in the time and the effort. It you aren't ready to do that, you won't achieve it anyway.

Notice, I call them goals and not resolutions. Once you think of a few goals you want to achieve, pick no more than three you want to go for. Choose more and you'll accomplish less. You want to set major goals that have major impact - goals that create a positive domino effect. I call them Golden Goals.

Getting a new job would be a Golden Goal. If you get a new job - making more money - you'll be able to pay off more bills, which means less financial stress and less bickering with the spouse about money. If you are lucky, you might have a more positive work environment which reduces work related stress and improves your outlook overall. So getting that job creates a host of other positive outcomes.

Assignment: For this week, your assignment is to select two to three Golden Goals. These will be goals you want for yourself, are motivated to achieve and would cause a positive domino effect in your life.

Next Monday:  The elements of a great plan.

I love goal-setting so much, I took a two-hour workskop I did on goal-setting and put it into a short workbook. Getting to Goal: Your Dreams, Your Desires, Your Way walks you through a holistic goal-setting process. When you are done, you will have two to three Golden Goals selected and a comprehensive plan for achieving them. Available on Kindle for $1.99 and in paperback for 6.99.

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