Do you need some help working toward your 2011 goals?
I think there are two separate challenges to making good New Year’s resolutions:
- taking the time to set thoughtful, achievable goals that align with what you really want out of life
- following through to achieve those goals
So let’s divide and conquer together.
I’ll even offer a prize to help get you motivated! Keep reading for details.
First, setting goals is more than casually saying over a midnight toast “I’m going to exercise more next year.” It’s getting clear on your intention, then setting some specific, measurable, achievable goals with deadlines.
Here are some posts I’ve written before about goal setting, including breaking down big, amorphous goals like “eat better” into mini goals with learning goals that spell out the steps you’ll take to get there, like buying a new cookbook or investigating cooking classes in your area.
- Setting my goals for 2011 as a comprehensive view of my life
- Are you making a new year’s resolution?
- Making resolutions you can keep
- What makes resolutions achievable?
- Let’s call them goals instead of resolutions
- Focusing on one change at a time for two months each
- Be careful what you wish for: setting goals you’re sure you want
Once you’ve set your goals, then you’ve got to follow through.
We have so many reasons for dropping the ball: we don’t make time, we think the change will be unpleasant, we’re afraid of plunging into the unknown. Do you have other barriers that hold you back?
My friend Catherine wrote a post recently about her New Year’s resolution to ease up on her perfectionism to give herself room to achieve her goals in the new year.
When I pare back the excuses (and I’ve got all the usual ones), I come face-to-face with my ego. Change threatens our sense of safety. For me, my sense of self-worth can get tied up with my need for perfection. I’m impatient with the learning process, and although I’ve lived through major failure so it no longer scares me, I still struggle to give myself the chance to try. If I’m not good at it immediately, says my ego, then I should just stay put.I was trying to explain some of this mess to Lisa recently, when she offered this as permission to my soul to speak freely: “How about being human today and being perfect another day?”
In case you need a nudge either in setting your goals or following through, here’s my contest: share a specific, measurable goal for 2011 and your plan for getting there, and I will pick one winner to receive a Newvine Growing scholarship of up to $100.
Be sure to tell me how winning could help you achieve your goal — will you apply it to joining a health club, or seeing a financial adviser, or taking an overdue family vacation? Bonus points if you’ve done the homework to find out how much that specific effort will cost.
Deadline to submit your 2011 goal as a comment on this post is Jan. 5. I know the holidays are busy and I want you to have ample time to give serious thought to what would make you happier or more fulfilled in the new year.
I will select my winner based on the thoughtfulness of the goal, the explanation of the steps to achieve it and plans to overcome any obstacles that could stand in the way. Creativity counts, too, so if you want to share a YouTube video, a collage on Flickr or anything else, that’s great. Originality might factor in, too, but don’t worry if you’re the seventh person to say you want to lose weight — I’m more interested in how you’re going to do it than inventing a goal no one’s ever had.