Stopping smoking, losing weight or improving your time management. These are common examples of goals we set ourselves from time to time, with many coincidentally being set with great pomp, ceremony and champagne around about the beginning of the year. New Year’s resolutions we call them. We convince ourselves that change needs to take place as a new year rolls around. A new year, a new me! For some this may be what’s required to get moving and achieve the desired results, but for most these “new goals” fizzle out within the first two weeks of the year and everything goes back to normal with the idea of improving ones time management being a dark and distant memory.
So what went wrong? Firstly, goal setting shouldn’t be controlled by the time of the year. If you want to achieve something start doing it as soon as possible. Stop waiting for the new year, a new moon or the next leap year to make things happen. Waiting causes you to lose momentum and motivation and procrastination starts kicking in. Secondly, setting a goal and just doing it, is not always as straight forward as we think. The secret to achieving a goal is understanding that your habits and behaviours need to change first. As an example, to achieve the goal of improving your time management, stop thinking about being a time management king/queen. Instead, start thinking about the following;
- What habits/behaviours are currently preventing you from achieving this goal?
- Going to bed too late and waking up late.
- Saying yes to every request that comes your way
- Not keeping a consistent diary
2. What habit, from the above list can you change right now?
- Setting an earlier bed time or setting the alarm to wake up earlier.
- Before saying yes, check what tasks and priorities are currently needing your attention. Then say yes, if you can manage it or get into the habit of saying no.
- Start using a diary.
These are simple habit or behaviour changes. It’s about focusing on changing just that one habit and making it a part of your everyday life, making it a norm. Once the habit has been altered for the better you, can move onto the next habit-changing task. Very soon, you will realise that you are actually achieving your main goal. Successful goal achievement is not about big wins, it is about understanding what habits or behaviours are holding you back, and figuring out the best way to change them.