Every year for the last fifteen, I sit down and write New Year resolutions in a form of goals. I keep them pretty specific but certainly not rigid. For example, to write a book was on my list for the last five years at least. What this meant was that in each year I took some steps towards it. One year, I wrote a draft outline. Another year, I drafted a chapter and then realised it was a false start. The topic was just not of that much interest for me to keep me writing. But with each year, as the same goal and wish kept popping up on my list, it was clear that writing a book was something I really wanted. In fact I want to write many books. Well 2011 was great! I ended up obtaining a book contract with Wiley for a personal productivity book which I am very excited about. It’s a topic that is close to my heart, that I coach in and that I own. I can’t wait to see my book on the shelves in July this year.
So why am I sharing this with you in this blog? I guess, it’s because many magazine articles follow trends. And the trend in popular culture at the moment is don’t bother with New Year resolutions. Most people abandon them in few days or weeks. I disagree. No matter how many resolutions I have set myself in each year – and the number did vary a lot – I have always achieved c 65% of them completely. I now do this with people I work with as their coach. We need goals. This doesn’t mean goals have to cramp our spontaneity or fortuitous opportunities that come along. However, if your goals include long term wishes then what better way to build motivation than through certainty that these matter to you a great deal. Otherwise why would they show up on your list from year to year.
We live in an era where achievers tell us we need to do everything NOW. Do not let this fool you. We each follow a process with a time scale that works well for each of us. A process that allows our brain to fill in the missing bits or let certain things fall into place in a way we may not be aware. As this happens, we are still moving towards our goals and wishes subconsciously. Writing goals down simply helps us get a handle on what’s happening and at times it provides a lever to speed things up or to save valuable time.
So, I encourage you to take few minutes and write down things you want to create and achieve in 2012 and revisit your list every couple of months. I bet you will likely achieve more than half of them. 🙂