Sunday, 1 January 2012
Here Is A Chance To Start Again On A Clean Slate
As the new year starts you have an opportunity to start again its like starting on a new page, it can also be likened to being born again. Forget what happened or did not happen in 2011, it does not matter any more. You cannot change your past but the actions you will take today will shape your tomorrow. This year I have personally declared it to be a year of action, a year which will be characterised by firm decisions and the resultant action. The best start is to set goals, setting goals is nothing mystique as it appears or sounds, it is in essence defining what success means to you.
Start by defining what success means to you. Does success mean you start living healthily, give up smoking (its expensive anyway), joining the gym, getting into shape? Does success mean buying that car, putting down a deposit on that house, saving for that holiday? Does success require you to get more knowledge, to go back to school, to acquire new skills? To some it might be that they want to spend more time with their loved ones, working hard to make sure their personal relationships work. To some success means starting their own business, being in control of their destinies. While for others it might be getting that promotion at work, applying for that dream job. Whatever success means to you you need to define it first before you go on about achieving it. It is pointless to just talk or even read this without taking action, I am going to ask you stop reading right now and take a paper rather a notebook, write down what success would mean to you in 2012.
Once you have defined your success you will need to write it down, its no use if just think about it and never commit it to paper. A goal is a goal if its defined and written down. I have written about it here when I gave you the example from the classic movie Alice In Wonderland, where Alice wants to go somewhere but cannot clearly define where she wants to go, Cheshire the cat tells it dos not matter which direction she goes she will get somewhere. Well today is the day to discard that attitude if it ruled your life. The idea that you can just drift in life, equating waking up and going to work with achieving something is flawed and will never work. It is probably why a lot of people do not achieve anything in life. They have never bothered to define and commit their goals to paper. It is like getting in car and starting to drive with no clear definition of where you are going and it is no wonder that you will never get anywhere. I
I am not going to labour on the above point but it is imperative that you sit down and write what success means to you. After you have written down your definition of success, you will need to chart a course on how you will achieve your goal. You might have written down that you need to buy a car, you need to be specific, what type of car, a saloon or a estate, a sports utility or a truck, with manual gears or automatic, whether it will be powered by petrol or diesel, even a hybrid electric powered car, what colour will it be, will it have leather seats or fabric covered seats? Most people who successful in life are clear and very specific about their goals, they are not vague about what they want to achieve neither do they ill-defined what they want to achieve. Suppose you want to make money in 2012, how much do you want to make, how will you make it? How much will need to make every month to achieve your target? How much every week, how much each day and consequently how much every day, every hour.
Studies in the past have shown that people get disillusioned about working towards their goals if the goals look unachievable and vague. They give up after a week of trying in January because the goals they set have not be broken down to sizeable chunks to fight goal setting inertia brought about by the looking at the sheer scale of what you want to achieve. There a common English saying that says take of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves. The same principle applies when setting goals, you will need to see what you need to achieve everyday that propels you towards your goals. As long as you are on course everyday then you will be on course every week, the weeks will make months and when 2012 closes you will have achieved what you set out to achieve. Breakdown your goals to monthly targets, then weekly then daily, then hourly if you have to, concentrate on now if you are on target now it will be easier to achieve that epic looking target.
There is no point in setting a goal which is unachievable in your circumstances, it will just frustrate you. The goals you will set need to be realistic, while its good to dream big however setting unrealistic goals is akin to day-dreaming. Successful people do not day-dream they know what they can realistically achieve. A good way of measuring whether a goal is realistic or fantasy is to have a look at the past record. There is no point in saying you will make a million in income when you average income for the past ten years has been averaging less than 25000 in yearly income. Unrealistic goals will look good on paper but will suck the energy out of you. Someone has said before goals should be S.M.A.R.T - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time limited.
I urge to grab this chance you have today, to start on a clean slate by committing to paper your goals. Remember they need to be realistic, specific, measurable and set within a time to achieve it. Happy New Year and a happy new you!