Goodbye, 2016… 2017 here we come!!! It has been a great year. We hope everyone found joy from the past year. We commend those who surpassed challenges and stayed strong. And we hope for a better year for those who are yearning for greater peace and happiness in life. For most of us, the end of the year will be complete once we set our new year’s resolution.
Some of the many principles often used to achieve goals would be:
- The acronym SMART, and its different variations:
- S – specific, significant, stretching
- M – measurable, meaningful, motivational
- A – agreed upon, attainable, achievable, acceptable, action-oriented
- R – realistic, relevant, reasonable, rewarding, results-oriented
- T – time-based, time-bound, timely, tangible, trackable
- First, we set goals, then we make plans
- Have a vision
- “The dullest pencil is better than the sharpest memory”
- This quote explains why we need to write our vision, goals, and plans and post them where we can see them
Although we already know these principles, why does it seem like we are not achieving our goals? Or… are we really not?
Quentin L. Cook, a Mormon ecclesiastical leader shared the rules he learned from his father:
- We needed to have worthwhile goals.
- We could change our goals at any time.
- We had to diligently work towards whatever goal we chose.
Looking back on the past year and the goals you had set, ask yourself the following questions: Are my goals worthwhile? Am I realistic with my goals and do I adjust them when necessary? Did I work diligently to reach them? If most of your answers are yes and still you feel like you have not achieved your goal, then the following principles can help you work on your goals for this year.
Achieving Your Goals
A for Accountability and Adjustment
When we are accountable, we are responsible for our actions and our decisions. Part of accountability is evaluating our progress in achieving our goals. Are we able to do them? If yes, how often? Or how much improvement did we achieve? If we are not able to accomplish them, think of the challenges we have had.
You can create your own indicator of measurement. This indicator depends on the type of goals you have set and how long it will take to reach them. For instance, it could be a self-report of a yes/no answer for whether the goals are achieved or not. It could also be a numerical figure such as the amount of money saved or pounds lost. You can customize your own evaluation. You can do it weekly, monthly or yearly. It depends on the time-table of your desired goals and plans. It is also highly encouraged to have a person to whom you can report your progress: your spouse, your parents, your friends, or whoever you feel comfortable sharing your goals with.
And, finally adjusting your goals and plans. After evaluating your goals be honest with yourself and ask if it is realistic. If you feel like you need to make some adjustments with frequency or with time, do so. On the other hand, if you feel like your goal is too easy, adjust it so you will be able to stretch yourself. The goals we set help us become who we want to be so it is very important to allow us to succeed.
B for Becoming Aware of Distractions
Working towards a goal is challenging yet it still should be fun. Achieving our goals should help us be happy with ourselves and not yet achieving them should motivate us more instead of discouraging us. Quentin L. Cook shared three distractions that keep us from becoming happy.
- Distractions which keep us from doing what we ought to do
- The magnification of small imperfections
- Unfavorable comparisons with others
Positive reinforcement is the most effective way to modify behavior. As your efforts produce favorable results, it will encourage you to continue towards your goal. Sometimes our measurement of our success is founded on the acknowledgment we get from other people or worse our comparison of ourselves to them. This is not wrong but make sure that you know how to positively reward and commend yourself for your efforts. The principle out of small things, great things are accomplished, should be your gauge in knowing if you are achieving your goals.
C for Consistency and Commitment
Ultimately, feeling successful comes through consistency. Patience indeed is a virtue. We need to work hard even when we do not see an obvious result of our efforts and patiently wait for the outcome. For a habit to be developed, it should be done for at least 18-21 days, but may take longer depending on the goal you wish to achieve. When you are committed to your goals you will do everything to achieve them, even when oppositions come your way.
So this year, we hope that your new year’s resolution would not be a mere yearly repetition of goals and plans that are never achieved and accomplished. It is only the beginning of the year… We still have a long way to go! Remember the ABCs to achieving your goals. Your success will be determined by your vision of yourself and your positive attitude in life.
Try and try until we succeed!
Quentin L. Cook’s article “Rejoice!”