Leading up to any new year, and in the first couple months afterwards, the topic of new goals, or goal setting and resolutions in general is bound to arise.
I thought it might be fitting to write a post about this topic.
While in one sense, I don’t like jumping on the bandwagon by writing about goals & resolutions, in another sense, it’s nice to harness some of the collective energy out there to start building (or maintaining) your momentum.
This is also the time that you typically see a swarm of Income Reports from businesses and investors or Goals & Motivation for the New Year posted on blogs of all types, and I don’t want to disappoint.
But instead, I want to focus on the mechanics of how I set and achieve my goals. First, let me clear the air..
I Don’t Believe in New Year’s Resolutions
As I hinted at in the title, I strongly dislike the concept that we should begin moving toward new objectives on January 1st. It should be an ongoing process.
In the same way you usually don’t feel older/wiser on your birthday, but that new insights and instances of personal growth are felt at random intervals based on your experiences & revelations within certain situations.
Why I still make “New Year’s Resolutions”
Not to contradict everything I’ve just stated, but I do make some plans & set new goals around the new year. It’s one of those rare times that you can tell those around you about your goals, and have them be encouraging & supportive.
Also, since I regularly set goals and evaluate my progress, I’ll use just about any excuse to pause and re-evaluate my situation.
What’s WAY better than resolutions?
In my opinion, resolutions are typically made in the “wink, wink, nudge, nudge” fashion. In reality, the majority of them aren’t kept through the month of January, let alone the entire year.
To make things worse, I often hear people mention new goals in October & November, but say that they’ll wait until January to get started on them.
So What’s My System?
I’m currently using a system that is ongoing, and doesn’t rely on a single date on the calendar to start & stop. It is a combination of a long-term plan (updated annually), coupled with shorter sprints, which are then broken down even further into daily actions.
This might seem a bit complicated, but it’s really quite simple once you get into it. It starts with a 1,3, & 5 year plan. This covers different areas of your life – Income, Lifestyle, Accomplishments, etc.
Something important to remember:
People often overestimate what they can accomplish in 1 year & underestimate what they can achieve in 5 years.
It isn’t too in depth. Just a sentence or two for each area of life, and 1-2 specific accomplishments I’d like to see in those areas.
So once you have this big bird’s eye view of your ideal 1/3/5 year vision, you can break it down into smaller, actionable tasks. This is the part where we break it down into 90 day sprints.
This is a technique I learned from Jack Canfield’s Success Principles (Principle #8: Chunk It Down).
Now it’s time for a 90-day sheet where I list the smaller objectives & benchmarks that will help me accomplish the long term goals. These are broken down into: Active & Passive Income, Personal Development, Leisure, and Life Events/Milestones.
Again, this is just a brief outline. 2-3 objectives in each area is sufficient.
So now that our lofty 5-year goals have been broken down into what we intend to accomplish in the next 90 days, we can begin to break those down into weekly objectives.
I’ve found that having 3 important objectives of the week is more than enough to accomplish most/all of your goals. All it takes is 15 minutes before each week starts.
Once this has been done, you can get to work on your daily action plans.
Now it’s time to break them down even further. Each evening before I go to sleep, I choose the 3 tasks for the next day that will best move me forward. These tasks move me towards my weekly objectives, which in turn move me towards the 90 day and beyond time frames.
A successful life is created 1 day at a time. Make each day a success, and you can’t help but create a successful life.
I realize that this system may seem a bit complex and time consuming, but it’s rather easy to implement. Here’s about how long I spend at each step:
- 1/3/5 Year Planning – about an hour
- 90-day sprints – another hour
- Weekly – 15 minutes to plan it out, and another 15 minutes midweek to check on my progress
- Daily – usually only 5 minutes
If that seems like a bit much, consider this:
If you won’t take a few hours to plan for success, you won’t put it the time & focus needed to be successful.
With all of this planning & goal setting, I’m sure you’re wondering how I put these plans into action.
I use The 65-25-10 Formula.