Happy New Year!
As we celebrate the beginning of 2017, we should take a moment to stop and reflect back on the past year. All the things we achieved and all the things we wished we had achieved, started or continued.
Traditionally most people set a new year’s resolution, something they want to start, a habit they want to change or maybe something they want to achieve. But for me this year I did something a little different. I set goals. Not just for the year but for the next 5+ years.
Why? For me a resolution is a discreet action. Something that doesn’t link to a bigger purpose. For example “I want to cut down my coffee intake from 3 cups per day to just one cup”. Now don’t get me wrong, that’s a worthwhile activity, but it needs to inspire and motivate you. Think about those cold winter mornings when you haven’t had much sleep because you stayed up all night watching Netflix. How hard is it going to be to forgo an extra cup of coffee the next morning?
So what I did was spend hours and days planning out big goals I want to achieve over the next few years. Then I broke those big goals down into more short-term goals. Then those short-term goals I broke down into smaller 30-90 days goals. Now I had something manageable to work with and I was able to develop a list of actions that would support me in achieving my goals.
As an example I have a long-term goal of completing the six Abbott World Marathon Majors over the next 2.5 years. In order to achieve that I need to complete a series of specific marathons, but in order to complete those marathons I need to train consistently. So for me I know that an action I need to take is to complete my strength training every week. So when Thursday rolls around, I know exactly what I have to do and why I am doing it.
Because my action is tied to my bigger goal, I know that it’s important to me to complete the action. That’s the feeling you need to have from your new year resolution. So back to our coffee example, if your goal is to lose weight, then an action you might need to take is to eat more healthy. That means improving the quality of the food and drink you consume. Coffee is one such drink you will either need to reduce or eliminate. So when it comes to those cold winter mornings when you are craving an extra cup of coffee you will be forced to think about your goal, instead of your immediate need to get a caffeine fix. Is one extra cup of coffee worth the pain of not hitting your goal weight?