Tag Archives: SMART Goals

It’s Resolutions Time! Again?

30 Dec

I often wonder who came up with the idea to create a list of New Year’s resolutions. A list of all the things we are unhappy with about ourselves, and the “wish” that we will miraculously change over the coming months.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I believe in change and I believe that each of us has the power within to change practically anything about ourselves. We are that powerful. No, what concerns me about New Year’s resolutions is the way we go about creating these changes.

Often the buoyancy of the holidays (too much cheer, food, spending) gives us a false sense of optimism when it comes to changing lifelong habits. We believe that change will come automatically when we once decide to make that change. Nowhere within the listing stage do we ever ask ourselves, “Can I do this? What plan do I have to succeed? What sacrifices will I have to make? Am I biting off more than I can chew?”

According to a January 2013 article in Forbes magazine only 8% of people who make New Year’s resolutions succeed. If a doctor wanted to perform surgery on you and then shared with you the fact that in better than 9 of every 10 patients the surgery was an utter failure, would you still agree to go under the knife. I have my doubts. Yet, millions of people will sit down over the coming days and create a list of changes they desire in themselves, yet knowing somewhere deep within, that they are going to fail.

Does this mean that you shouldn’t make New Year’s resolutions? Of course not. Go ahead and make your list, but then do the following:

  • Prioritize your list from least important to most important. Then choose the most important item on your list to begin. One item, no more. Once you succeed with this resolution the others will be much easier to attain.
  • Plan the next 90 days and how you’re going to succeed. I suggest learning and using SMART goals. You’ll find them in my book Overpowering Fear or just Google them. If you’re going to lose weight ask yourself, “What help do I need to accomplish my goal.” Over the years I’ve used Weight Watchers and Nutrisystem. Choose a system that feels comfortable for you. Don’t think you’re going to accomplish this alone, YOU WON’T.
  • (This example can be used for most goals). If your goal is to get more sleep create a log to fill out just before you go to bed. Write down the time you went to bed and if you’re not getting to bed on time, write the reason. Review this log at the end of every week. You’ll see that the reasons you wrote down were meaningless. If it was important for you to watch Scandal to the end, ask yourself, what the episode was about? If you can’t remember then it wasn’t very important.
  • Accept the fact  that no great change happens without some sacrifice. Whether it be food, time, alcohol, video games, etc. you are going to have to give up something. Prepare to give up the known for the unknown.
  • Because you create your life through your thoughts, don’t let thoughts of failure derail you. Done right, you have a greater chance of success than failure. Whenever a negative thought enters your mind causing unwanted fear say to yourself, “Thank you for this thought but I choose not to accept it. Instead I ask for a thought that is just the opposite.” It may sound crazy but it works.

For those who try my plan for accomplishing their New Year’s resolutions, I would love to hear back from you. Tell me your successes and your failures. My goal is to make this work for everyone.

Love,

Michael

Someday I’m going to have everything I want!

9 Oct

Are you a someday kind of person?

You know, whenever you’re asked what’s going on in your life you respond with, “not much. But, someday I’m going to (you fill in the blank).”

When you hear yourself repeating a litany of somedays you might get the feeling that these could possibly be your true desires. Well, let me tell you this; they are your true desires.

They are what you’d really like to be, do or have in your life, but life just keeps getting in the way.

The problem is this, that until you turn a someday into a goal it will always be sitting out their never to be reached.

Look into your bag of somedays. What do you see? Most likely you see your dreams. Now, remove the clutter. You know that fantasy you have of pitching for the San Francisco Giants or dating Denzel Washington.

Now choose a someday. Something you would really like to create and have in your life. Like owning your own business. Or, finding the perfect job.

Next turn that someday into a SMART goal: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound. Then follow your path to completion.

And always remember: Today Is Yesterday’s Someday.

With Love,

Michael

When Will You Live Your Life?

26 Jun

We are always getting ready to live, but never living. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

What’s most interesting about the above quote is that it was written by Mr. Emerson approximately 150 years ago, when life in America was quite different than it is today. But it seems that nothing really has changed in those intervening years. People still sacrifice happiness today for some expectation of happiness in the future. The question is, Why?

Why do we put so much faith in tomorrow while we waste this most precious moment? Will tomorrow be better? We don’t know. We were created to be optimists willing to bet on the come. But, the best we can do is to hope and wish that tomorrow will be different; when joy, happiness, contentment and accomplishment will be our constant companions. But that really isn’t much of a strategy and very often leads to disappointment.

In my book Overpowering Fear – Defeating the #1 Challenge in Sales and Life, I created Exercise #4 to deal with this very subject. It’s entitled, Today is Yesterday’s Someday. You see, my Dad was a Someday kind of guy. He used to pepper his speech with all the things he wanted to do, Someday. But when he died just short of his 77th birthday most of his Somedays were never realized. I was sad for him. What was he waiting for?

Somedays are often our dreams for ourselves. What we really want our lives to be about. But typically, they are predicated on some milestone or future event happening in our life. These things sound like, “I really want to learn to ________ as soon as the kids are old enough.” “By the time I’m forty I want to own my own business.” “I can’t even begin to think about that until our finances are a little better.” I want to pursue my passion for photography as soon as I have the time.” Does this sound like you?

This is your life on pause. But time cannot be paused. It continues to move forward without you and one day you wake up with little to show for all your years of sacrifice. You know that life is fragile. Just think about James Gandolfini, dead at 51. An incredible actor with so much more to give to future audiences. Why wait to begin living your life?  Life is precious and MUST be lived in the moment.

Here is what I want you to do NOW! Take out a piece of paper and write down all of your Somedays. Don’t judge what you wrote down. These are your dreams. Now prioritize them by which is most important to you. Then take your number one Someday and write a SMART goal for it. If you don’t know what a SMART goal is either buy my book, where I teach you, or look it up on the internet. Once you have your goal written – start living it, TODAY.

With Love,

Michael