45% of Americans make New Years resolutions on a regular basis. Only 8% achieve their goal. Here are some ways to make sure you obtain your goal. Sick Puppies Comedy does one on one training with individuals to help them attain their goals. This is one of the first activities we do.
1. Take some time to determine what you would really like to do – You’re about to make a habit change for the course of an entire year. You should take at least an hour of uninterrupted time to determine what you would like to resolve, why you would like to resolve it and how to go about it. I take 4 hours once a year and then an hour every quarter to make adjustments.
2. Brainstorm – You may think you know what you want to do, but that may not be REALLY what you want. Take 5 minutes to write down a list of 100 things you’d like to do in 2014. Yes. 100. Don’t edit either. It could be as epic as making $1 million dollars or trying Sushi for the first time. It doesn’t matter. Make your list.
3. Reduce your List to 12 – What are the 12 things you’d really like to do in 2014? Why so many? No worries. When you do this exercise, you’ll feel like 12 is too few! Trust me. Keep the list to 12. No more. No less. You’ll see why. Be patient.
4. Be Realistic – The secret to goal setting is the vision. Can you picture yourself auditioning for a commercial? Are you able to imagine what you look like 20 pounds lighter? Can you really imagine $100,000 in your bank account? The #1 reason why people fail is that they can’t visualize their goals. A resolution is a promise to yourself. If you aren’t being realistic with your goals, you might as well never start. For example: I need to lose 50 pounds. For my height and age, this is realistic. I also know from my previous experience that I can lose 50 pounds in a year. However, 50 pounds in 3 months or 100 pounds in a year doesn’t make sense. I’m setting myself up for failure.
You can apply the same example for money. “I want to make $1 million this year.” is not realistic if you only made $30,000 in 2013. However, if you made $850,000 in 2013, $1,000,000 could possibly be a realistic goal.
DREAMING IS NOT GOAL SETTING, but DREAMING IS WHAT SHOULD DRIVE YOUR GOALS.
5. The Why Behind the What – What is motivating your to reach your goals? It’s one thing to want to play guitar. It’s another to say “I want to perform in a show that requires guitar?” or “I want to be able to play my wife our wedding song.” Take each of your goals and write a few reasons why you want to achieve these goals. If you don’t have a good reason, eliminate it and replace it with another one. For example, clients tell us “I need to make more money”, but when it comes to telling us why, the reasons are flat. “I need to make more money so I can set up a college fund for Anna” is better than “I need to make more money so we can do more stuff”. Believe it or not, you probably make plenty of money. Your resolution might need to be more about budget than it should be about income.
6. Be Specific – Your goal must be quantifiable. “I want to lose weight” isn’t going to get you anywhere. This means if you lose 2 or 100 pounds, you’ve reached your goal. You have no way to track your success or create a plan. However, if you say you want to lose 10% of your current weight, reduce your BMI 5 points and reduce your overall fat % by 4%, we are on our way. Clients will argue that some goals can’t be quantified. For example, “I want to be a famous actor”. Quantifying this is relatively easy if we can qualify what famous means to you. How many twitter followers do you have? How many facebook fans? How many visits does your site receive? Is your IMDB rating a certain level? Do you make your entire living from acting? Is there a certain amount of money you have to make to be famous? You’ll find relatively quickly that every goal can be quantified. Specificity is the key to having the vision to see your goals.
7. Game Plan – The goal for every sports team is to win. Simple enough. However, every game plan is different. This is where you should spend most of your time. In this example, I’m going to use the two most popular resolutions. Weight Loss and Income. Let’s say you want to lose 20 pounds and you want to save $3000 so you can take a killer vacation in 2015.
Weight Loss – 20 pounds is less than 2 pounds a month! Yes! Here’s a nice secret, set your goal for just a little higher than your original intent. Let’s gameplan for 24 pounds.
- 2 pounds a month
- .5 a pound a week
- 1800 Calories a week
- 257 calories a day
Did you gain weight in 2013? If the answer is no, the math above is pretty simple. Burn 257 calories a day or remove 250 calories a day from your diet. That’s 2 sodas or one soda and 20 minutes on the elliptical. If you gained some weight in 2013, you need to account for the overeating and adjust for that as well.
Income or Savings – $3000 in 12 months to take a trip. First do your research on where you are going, how long you want to be there and how much you plan on spending. Let’s say it’s $3000. Let’s gameplan for $3,600.
- $300 a month
- $10 a day
I’d recommend opening a savings account where you pay a set portion of your paycheck directly into that account. If you get paid twice a month, just send $150 directly into it before you can see the money.
If you believe you can afford this relatively easily, that’s all you have to do. However, if you can’t afford this goal currently, you need to create a budget to find out how to reduce your spending by $10 a day or $70 a week or $300 a month. It’s easier to visiualize $10 a day or $70 a week than it is $300 a month. How can you cut out $70 a week? Do you go to the bars? Do you shop online a lot? Could you carpool? Can you reduce your cable bill?
The other option is to ask for a raise at work, put in more hours or get another job. Chances are you can reduce expenses to make your goal. Also, remember to make sure your goal is realistic. As a father getting ready to have a 2nd child, $3000 for a vacation is unrealistic and slightly irresponsible.
Also keep in mind that some of your resolutions may be simple 1 time things. It’s important that if it is something like “Make homemade candy” that you take the time create a gameplan there too. It’s also important to set a date to do it.
- February 5
- Research a recipe
- Purchase the tools and ingredients
The Secret to Gameplanning is to make one big goal into many smaller easier goals. 24 pounds in a year is much more intimidating than .5 a pound a week.
8. Publish your plan – Make your plan small enough that you can take it with you. Either put it in a notebook you carry with you or save it on your phone or put it on a business card that’s in your wallet. Whatever it is needs to be clear and concise. You should be 100% clear on what your daily activities should be. Keep multiple copies of it handy.
9. Track Your Progress – You should journal everything you are doing. At a bare minimum, write down statistics. This activity is what will motivate you to continue. Losing .5 a pound a week is tedious and unimpressive. However, if you look at a notebook that shows you are down 10 pounds, the payoff is worth it. This also helps greatly if you have a bad day, week or month. You can see that even if you didn’t reach your weekly goal that it will take minimal effort to make up for it. Tracking your success is the ONLY way you will achieve it.
10. Make Adjustments along the way – Let’s say after your first month, you lose 10 pounds. All of the sudden, 20 pounds doesn’t seem that far away. My recommendation is to adjust modestly; especially when it comes to weight loss. If your goal was 2 pounds a month, maybe change that to 4 pounds a month or don’t change it at all. Your ability to reach your goal is so important. If you lose 20 pounds in 2 months, congratulations! Celebrate it, enjoy it! Then make a new goal. Maybe to lose more, maintain or some other health oriented activity. Stay focused.
Let’s say your goal was to play the guitar and learn a specific song. Let’s say you learned it 3 months in. Congratulate yourself. Now adjust your goals.
Consequently, if you seem to be trending behind your goal, you need to make adjustments as well. If you gained weight in the first month, maybe you aren’t motivated enough to accomplish your goal. Your reason statement is probably not strong enough. “I want to lose 20 pounds to be healthy” isn’t as powerful as “I want to lose 20 pounds so I’m no longer high risk for heart attack. I want to live to see grandchildren.”
Maybe your goal is too aggressive. Maybe your goal was to visit the gym every day. When analyzing your progress, you see that you only made it to the gym 6 times all month. Maybe you should just make your goal for the following month to be 2 times a week and work your way up to 7 days a week.
My father in law said life is a series of adjustments. It’s 7 years after I heard that and it’s a life changer. Adjustments will allow you to make progress in your life without abandoning your goals and dreams.
Sometimes the best part of your resolution is living the reality of just how difficult it can be to realize your goals.
11. Broadcast Your Resolution(s) – Tell the world what your goals are. Put it on Facebook, make it a blog, post pictures on instagram. Your friends and family will support you and encourage you. They’ll also hold you accountable. I feel that many people tell everyone what they are going to do, but they fail to share the plan or even have a plan. Do steps 1 to 10 before broadcasting your goals. You may find out that what you really want to resolve in 2014 isn’t what you originally think.
The key to winning your resolutions is to celebrate your little victories. Post pictures, post painful moments but tell us how you are doing. We love you and we want you to win.
If you feel like you could use a coach along the way, contact the Sick Puppies at 954-667-7735 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.