The madness of the holiday season is wrapping up, which means most of us are beginning to awake from our cookie-induced coma. The chaos of Christmas and all its festivities quickly give away to the New Year; a time in which many of us reflect on the previous year and project our goals for the next.
I have been thinking a lot about goals recently, not because of the New Year, but because I have already been walking through a long stretch of working towards and meeting some personal goals that I have set.
If my own success in reaching my goals has taught me anything, it is this…
You won’t meet your goals unless you have a clear plan to follow.
Common sense, right? Maybe not.
We all know that most resolutions and goals made for the new year don’t actually happen. Why? Well, the reasons surely vary, but I think the most common reason is that we focus on the end result, but we don’t give enough attention to how we can get there.
Over the last several months I have lost almost 40 pounds. I wasn’t focused on a specific number or even a specific goal. I was focused on one thing – making a plan and making day-to-day decisions that would bring me closer to where I wanted to be.
Success, no matter what your goal, comes by working hard AND working smart. Your goal will not be met on a whim. Yes, you must work hard, but you must also work smart. You must be working on a plan that will be taking you one step closer to your goal, each and every day. Your goals, if you are to meet them, will be met by creating a plan, setting a course, and doing work.
For example, my bowhunting goals for 2012 include shooting more arrows year round, shooting with an elevated heart rate, and also shooting in competitive events. These three “minor” goals are really just my way of helping me achieve my ultimate goal of being a better hunter under pressure. I am taking the ultimate goal and reverse-engineering it by making a plan and setting minor goals.
The big idea is this… Decide where you want to be and then figure out how to get there.
In 2-3 years, come hell or high water, I will be in the backcountry of Colorado chasing elk. That is my main goal right now, but I am not focusing on the goal, I am focusing on how I can there. Getting in better shape, becoming a better hunter under pressure, hunting whitetails from the ground…I am doing all of these things now to help me get where I want to be.
“He who fails to plan, plans to fail.”
– Ancient Proverb
What goals or resolutions are you making for the New Year? How can you develop a plan to reverse-engineer this goal?