It’s almost impossible to begin the New Year without at least thinking about making some kind of resolution, new promise to yourself, or setting some goals. Did you achieve the plans you set last year? Can you even remember what personal goals you made a year ago? Michael Hyatt says that 25% of people abandon their New Year’s resolutions after just one week, 60% quit or give up within six months, and the average person makes the same New Year’s resolution 10 different times without success. Ouch!

Change is inevitable. Change is the very essence of life itself. But most of us don’t want that change to just happen to us without our consent. Quite honestly, we want to have a sense of power over the change in our lives. But for some reason, our personal plans, the things that represent the very changes that we have the power to make happen in our lives are really hard for us to achieve. Sometimes even when I know that the place I am mentally, emotionally, or relationally is not healthy, and I know I need to change; I still feel more comfortable staying where I am than in making a change, even if the alternative would obviously be better for me.

Why do we have so much trouble making our goals happen?

According to Michael Hyatt and 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever – there are lots of reasons why we have trouble living out our goals.

Goal setting difficulty:

 Poor creation of goals; inadequate planning or evaluation.
 Fear of failure.
 Unrealistic expectations – maybe even delusional?
 Not trusting ourselves enough to believe we can accomplish our goals.
 The benefit we desire appears to cost more than we are willing to give.
 We don’t see quick results; we expect immediate gratification.

But no matter how difficult it is, goal setting is a powerful process for helping you chose where you want to go and what you want to achieve in your life.

Goal setting motivates you to:

 Envision your future and gives you focus for where you need to put your hard work and effort.
 Decide what is important and relevant in your life.
 Understand and avoid distractions in your life.
 Build self-confidence and self-worth. When plans are accomplished we feel more self-assured and secure about our ability to live a healthy and productive life.

So what does living a goal oriented life look like?

Characteristics of people who succeed in attaining goals and making changes:
 They are convinced of the change that is needed; and are motivated.
 Generally committed, or willing, to establish the habits necessary to reach their goals.
 They believe they are able to succeed in their plans; they feel they have the ability to make their plans come about.

Realistic goals are achievable goals.

How to create achievable goals:

 Goals should be expressed in a positive statement rather than a negative one.
 Set precise goals that can be measured.
 Goals should be within your ability and control.
 Goals need to be possible to attain within a certain time frame.

It is easy to set unrealistic goals when you don’t understand possible obstacles, when you underestimate the skills you’ll need, when you’re just trying to please others, when you have too high of expectations, or when you don’t grasp the time needed to accomplish them.

A compelling guide for designing goals is the SMARTER acrostic Michael Hyatt uses in Best Year Ever!
Make your goals:

Time Keyed

Write Goals Down!

Goals that are not written down are rarely achieved! After being written down and prioritized, daily or weekly to-do lists should be created to help you work toward accomplishing your goals. After you have written down your objectives, understanding your motivation, or the why, of fulfilling them is also important. Revisit your goals on a consistent time frame; then Recommit or Revise them as needed.

Great Expectations!

Expectations toward our goal attainment are critical to their fulfillment. Lanny Bassham, who teaches mental management systems, says if we don’t expect to make our goals happen, we have no chance of them being achieved. He proposes the reinforcement principle, “the more we think about, talk about and write about something happening, we improve the probability of that thing happening.”

So what is it that you want to achieve regarding your career, finances, education, family or other relationships, organization, physical or mental health, leisure and recreation, or volunteering? Start today by writing something down!

“The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.” -Proverbs

We would love to know about some of your goals for 2019. Leave us a comment below or shoot us an email!