How’s that “losing weight” or “making things happen” New Year’s resolution working for ya? Wait, what… you didn’t even set a New Year’s resolution? Silly you, now you have to wait another year!
Don’t worry, I’ve been there, done that!
So how many times will you need to get kicked in the nuts, or lady equivalent, to realize that the odds of accomplishing your resolution you set once every 365 days, are pretty miserable? Personally, it took me about 9 tries, that’s 9 f’in years.
Do you think Michael Jordan became the greatest basketball player because he practiced once per year? Of course not, he was born great. Just kidding, he practiced for hours each day. So am I telling you to practice setting your resolution daily? YES… well kinda! But before you call me crazy, let me explain.
It took me 9 years to I realize that I sucked at achieving my New Year’s resolution or really any long term goal. It didn’t matter how well, or in how many ways I broke down my $1,000,000/year income goal. Frankly I was pretty good at setting detailed goals, but I sucked at achieving them. And not only did I suck at achieving the long term goals, I sucked at the short term goals too. As in, I didn’t have any short term goals. So I started setting monthly goals. I sucked at those. Then weekly goals. And I sucked at those too!
I had my lucky weeks where I hit my goals, but most of the time I missed. And out of discouragement, I’d often stop setting goals for weeks before restarting again. I kept repeating that process until I decided to find out why I sucked so bad at goals.
Several books in, a few seminars and countless hours of listening to sh*t, it finally came to me. The word “goals” is f’in useless these days. It’s just a buzzword. Ask anyone and they’ll spew something to either make them look good or something so cheeseball it will make you gag.
“Oh that’s great, so you want to be a better person. How are you going to do that?
That’s when you realize that the person has a f’in wish and not a goal! But there is a way to get good at goals. First, understand there are few ways of achieving goals. Second, stop calling them goals.
See back in the day, people typically set goals to become someone and in the process they got stuff. Today, people typically set goals to get stuff, without trying to become someone. This is the same phenomenon behind people going broke after hitting the lotto jackpot. Now, it doesn’t happen to every lotto winner, just like there is a way to set goals to get stuff. It’s just a different process.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Lao Tzu
That process is called creating an action habit. If you can’t consistently set weekly goals, you need to take baby steps. Start by writing daily “to-dos.”
There is a theory that if you want to create a habit, you have to do that something 21 consecutive times. It’s only a theory, but tell me you wouldn’t get better at getting sh*t done if you wrote a daily “to-do” list for 21 days? Not only would you write one on day 22, but you’d write one that was a lot more realistic to accomplish.
That’s exactly what I did. It might have taken me more than 21 days to create my action habit, but I am Polish.
The point is that once you get really good with taking action on your daily “to-dos,” you will start craving more. And you will start doing more. You will even stretch your time frames. Eventually you’ll start setting weekly “to-dos.” Yes, by then you can call them goals. And when you pair action with visualization, you might even start achieving your New Year’s resolution goals! Here is the mind boggling thing, in the process of creating your action habit, you’ll become someone, an Achiever!