New Year’s is a traditional time to set new goals and to implement changes. Here are a few non-traditional tips to consider as you take on this process:
New Year’s resolutions must be inspiring. If they are not and you truly want to reach the goal, then begin to create an association with some part of the goal that inspires you. The initial phases may motivate you; or the outcomes might excite you. Either way you must identify what it is that will keep you going. Make sure that your goal will keep you motivated throughout the life cycle of the attainment. It is mandatory that you have the answers to these questions:
- Who or what enlivens your heart and mind?
- What are the feelings, thoughts you have about what inspires you?
- What are the qualities that you hope to develop during the upcoming year?
- What three words can you associate with these qualities? These are watchwords that ignite concepts into action. These words serve, as reminders and guideposts. Whenever you get lost in the process of achieving, refer back to them.
Screetch…when you are not excited about an activity that you approach then you must discover the reason you are involved. The meaningfulness of this activity is not always derived as a direct effect from this project. If your inspiration requires delayed-gratification, it is important that you find inspiration in your resolution whether it is building a new skills, or it relates to something else you value. If you don’t find any reason for participating then you need to seriously consider why you are involved. Then build that inquiry into an objective to solve. Our lives a relatively short therefore, what we focus on must have meaningfulness. This simple common-sense is often ignored. Certainly, I have ignored this more times than I care to admit. I had to discover what was meaningful, my own route to fulfilling it and to determine the pearls in the mud when my activities were not aligned with my sensibilities.
Delve in! The year’s before us;
Spring’s promise fills the air.
Descendants of Antæus,
The brown earth’s touch can free us,
Renew us and restore us,
From the hand o’ carking care.
Frederick Frye Rockwell, “Invitation”
Setting objective/s is a crucial exercise. A documented objective is needed more than its plan. Objectives are the meaningful, relevant reference to the intended change. Rather than write an official objective answer a few questions to get started.
- What is the context or problem that this resolution addresses?
- What verb identifies the action to be taken?
- What object of the verb identifies who or what is the verb impacting?
- What is the desired result?
- What deliverable will manifest as a result of this resolution project?
To write the objective write a sentence using this template: “The objective of this resolution project is address CONTEXT to VERB the OBJECT OF THE VERB with this DELIVERABLE.” It is surprising how important this objective sentence as you progress. It clarifies any confusion, distraction or irritation. Place a a copy of the objective sentence as a reminder in strategic reminder locations.
What is a reasonable schedule to achieve this? Divide the schedule into equal time units for each phase of the resolution attainment. Label each time unit with a creative reminder of what you will do during that phase. There are many good tools that can help you prepare your days with some part of the work to attain the goal. One tool I use is Google. It allows users to benefit from as many calendars as you can imagine. I have a few, each with its special purpose. The calendars can be viewed separately or overlapped with calendars with other purposes. One calendar I use solely for these goals. Often my watchwords each phase. They are followed by the creative terms used for the inspiration and activity for that phase. For instance, if my watchword was “clarification” then the term can be stated as “Phase 3, Clarification Deliberation.” This reference is clear enough for me to know that this period I seek the clearest response to the objective. Deliberation implies a period of examination within myself for clarification of the goal. Typically I would also include an external investigation for the resources required. Once the calendar is prepared, you can view it as a separate calendar; you can view it with your other calendars; you can add notifications to remind you as well that actions are due. *I am not promoting the google calendar, it is just the tool that I know, is easily accessible, free, and useful.
Achievement of goals is a process. There are ample obstacles that cause rescheduling, re-routing, re-tooling. Recognize an obstacle when you see it. Be aware that there will be changes in the schedule. Don’t let yourself off the hook and delay but re-group and adjust. When achievement expectations change, inspiration can diminish. In such cases, remember to always refer back to your objectives and watchwords. Recall the original inspiration. Take at least five minutes to feel the motivation. Bring that feeling to the process. Remember it is a process and like all processes, modifications are often necessary. When you adjust and keep yourself inspired in this way, accomplishment of your goals are more accessible and you are more effective when you communicate with your team, laterals and lead about this.
I like to remember that a annual cycle is the length of time that the earth orbits the sun. For me that reminds me of how valuable each day is. As the earth cycles around the earth review the progress of your year-long goals. This is the time to consider: have the goals been achieved, whether the goals need further modification, does the schedule need to be extended, how can you improve the results (whether they are achieved or not), how do the goals relate to your objectives now―did they contribute to an overall success? What do you want to do the next cycle of the sun?
Each of us has about 40 chances to accomplish our goals in life. I learned this first through agriculture, because all farmers can expect to have about 40 growing seasons, giving them just 40 chances to improve on every harvest.
Howard Graham Buffett
Gratitude is a heartful celebration. Take time to celebrate in your own way. I read once that celebration calls for a physical response such as a “happy dance.” While that does not fit for everyone, find your own expression.
Regardless of your success or outcome, find what you learned, what you benefited from, a person whom you might have met or other ways that you developed. If the process did seem positive, there was a lesson even if you did not cognitively receive it. Gratitude has many benefits. It keeps you connected to the vital reasons that you set the goals; thereby, it stirs the human spirit in you, it reminds you of your heartful inspiration; gratitude sets you up for a positive attitude regardless of the circumstances.
A metaphor of this process is that of agriculture from the days before it was industrialized.
The experience of ages has shown that a man who works on the land is purer, nobler, higher, and more moral… Agriculture should be at the basis of everything. That’s my idea.
Today you might relate the processes of change also to gardening―an activity most people in our society have experienced. Farmers and gardeners prepare the soil for farming, plant seeds, cultivate the soil, harvest their crops, celebrate and express their gratitude of harvest. This metaphor grounds the change process, reminding us that our daily events are part of the natural cycle of life.
The discovery of agriculture was the first big step toward a civilized life.
Happy New Year’s
May your dreams for the year come true, seed to harvest!