Every year around New Year’s Day, people set resolutions for themselves. They write a long list of things they will do for the year. This is not a flawed approach, but it may not be as effective as you’d like.
The backward approach to looking at your resolutions may be a better solution. What I mean by backward approach is very similar to what the success guru and author of 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, Stephen Covey, means when he says, “Begin With The End In Mind.” Instead of writing a list of resolutions that are just wishes, why not change these into strategies with end dates in mind? For instance, instead of trying a weight loss program and giving up after five days because you don’t see results, why not change the way you write your goals. Take a look at the first resolution, which is how most people write them, and then look at the revised resolution below:
Resolution 1: Lose weight
Resolution 1: Lose 35 pounds by December 2022 by a combination of working out at the local gym, eating more protein, and cutting out bad carbs.
Not only does the second version of the goal change the goal into something more specific and achievable, but you are beginning with the end in mind. Start your goals at the end of the year and work your way back to the beginning of the year. The second goal is very specific. The more specific you can be with the goal you want to achieve, the better. This is because your resolutions are no longer lists of wishes. Instead, they are strategies followed by tactics to properly execute it.
Let’s look at another example:
Resolution 2: Advance in my career
Resolution 2: Acquire a new job within the same industry as a manager at a new firm making $75K per year or more by May 2022.
This method of creating resolutions allows you to take a long hard look at what you want to do for the year and really turn them from wishes into achievable plans. Working backward lets you work with more realistic timeframes by seeing your goals a year out and starting to set them at the end of the year. One of the reasons people don’t follow through on their resolutions is that they want to achieve everything within January. Long-term goals are usually the harder, more complex ones. Therefore, looking at those first and working your way back to the easier ones allows you to have a chance at actually accomplishing them.
Let’s get to work setting much more realistic goals this year! Try this technique for a month. Then, come back and share your experiences in the comments. By then, I will have another mystical technique for success in the next post for New Month, New You.
Image of New Year’s resolutions courtesy of Photo 27060775 © Chris Dorney | Dreamstime.com
Disclaimer: This blog article is the opinion of the author. It should not take the place of professional advice.