If they will follow these 5 steps.
Over the last 20 years I’ve had some successful starts and some dismal starts each year. When I reflect back over the great years, I see one critical aspect on those years.
Planning and dreaming throughout December.
If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!
I love the “Decembers” where I do this and can’t really remember the “Decembers” that I didn’t.
One year my wife and I went to Seattle, stayed downtown and did our dreaming and goal setting over that holiday. Other times it took place in a family cabin back in Ontario, quiet and secluded. More often now my planning time is scattered throughout December, an hour or two at a time in the mornings or on the weekends. Family commitments have taken priority over goal setting getaways.
It doesn’t need to be fancy, the local coffee shop will work just fine for a couple hours each week.
I thought I would share with you what has worked well for me and some tools that I use to get the creative juices flowing for dreaming and goal setting for the upcoming year.
1. Know how important this is for you, your family and the people you serve.
Simon Sinek wrote a book called “Start with the Why”. It’s incredible at explaining how motivation for setting goals can stick. The title tells it all. When you are connected to your “why”, the “what” of your goals has a much greater chance of success.
That’s where I start. Start with why it’s so critical that I set and attain my goals.
I believe that there are people counting on me to get this right and they need me to set goals and dream big.
My number one “why” are my wife and kids, but I also feel my patient’s and community need me to get this right. When you are in the business of restoring health and life to people, it’s easy to get to the “why”.
Regardless of what you do, connect to the “why” and you’ll find the necessary motivation to set goals each year and put value on dreaming big.
2. Setting goals works, writing them down works even better.
From the first time I heard about the Harvard Study, you know the one that say’s out of the 1979 Harvard MBA program (or the Yale class of 1953) 13% of the class who had goals, but did not write them down was earning twice the amount of the 84% who had no goals. And the 3% who had written goals were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97% of the class combined!
By the way, that study never existed. It’s been quoted by motivational speakers for years but was completely false. But don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. The principle is TRUE.
But there is ACTUAL solid research by Gail Matthews Ph.D. from Dominican University that proves that when you write your goals down you are more likely to succeed.
3. Follow someones lead; but they need to know what they are talking about.
Recently I have been learning from Michael Hyatt, you can find his resources at michaelhyatt.com. For anyone who needs a full on “assault” strategy on setting goals he has an online course called Five Day’s to Your Best Year Ever and it’s incredible. I highly recommend it.
It’s the closest thing to fool proof I have ever done. And it’s affordable.
I have spent thousands of dollars over the last 20 years on coaching fees and seminars but this is absolutely the best value for the money on goal setting.
4. Have a place to put it
As mentioned in point 3, Michael Hyatt has a great resource on the mechanics of setting goals (Best Year Ever). He recommends a digital agenda for recording you goals called Evernote.
But it doesn’t have to be a software program or something you pay a monthly subscription for. For me, I personally like the old school pen and paper. I use something called a Warrior Way 90 Day, a resource from a chiropractic-coaching program I’m involved with, but it’s not available for purchase. BUT there is a remarkably similar product called the Passion Planner that I would recommend that is publicly available.
Before the Warrior Way I used a Day-Timer product that was one week on 2 pages. Either way, no matter what you use it will not be 100% perfect, just get something that fits your life as close as possible.
There are sections in the Passion Planner that I know you will not use but 80% of it is absolutely perfect. It also allows for some doodle space and that is great for when you are dreaming.
One of the really neat things about the Passion Planner is that it can keep the “why” front and center. You just need to write it down in the extra sections.
Use those blank spaces to carry forward your “why” AND there are sections in the weekly schedule to record your weekly wins. This is the tool I am going to have my family use after they go through the Best Year Ever online course with Micheal Hyatt.
Your “why” and your “wins” are two essential things in making it through the year excited about your goals. And that will give you a much greater chance of reaching your goals!
5. Try to encourage someone else to do it with you.
This isn’t always possible but if it is it will almost ensure 100% success with setting and reaching your goals. Accountability and encouragement is HUGE.
Finding someone who is willing to do this with you. Your spouse would be great, but you also need to be willing to go it alone if they lose focus. Think of it as your job to help them accomplish their goals too. When you are encouraging someone else to stay on track it makes it so much easier for you to stay on track.
If your “significant other” does step up and agree to do this I would caution you to lead by example not by nagging. Take the high road and lead rather than use it as ammunition to prove your point in other areas of your life. If you’re in a long-term relationship you’ll know exactly the wisdom in this advice.
So that’s it. The first goal you should set each year is to spend the month of December plotting your course for the next year. I guarantee your December will be more focused than any other December you’ve had.
New Year’s Resolutions will be a thing of the past. You will accomplish far more for your family, health and career than you ever thought possible and as Steve Jobs was famous for saying, you’ll make a dint in the universe.
That’s why we’re here, to make that dint in the universe. Your life is far more important that you can see today. Plan like you’re a world changer. So plan for your best year ever, every year.
That’s where we start the 100+Living Plan.
Most “impossible” goals can be met simply by breaking them down into bite size chunks, writing them down, believing them, and then going full speed ahead as if they were routine.
Let me know what you think about our “5 Steps to Your Best December Every Year” in the comments below and feel free to add any resources you have found helpful in setting and reaching your goals for our Lighthouse community.