Posts tagged goals
From Resolution to Achievement: 8 Tips for Making Your New Year’s Commitments Stick

If you are like most people, you will take some time on New Year’s Day to reflect on the outgoing year and set some resolutions for the year ahead.

Maybe you’ll decide to make a lifestyle change, such as eating healthier and exercising more.

Perhaps you’ll determine that it is time for more work-life balance or to travel more often.

You may set some business-related goals, such as making more sales calls or taking other action steps that will improve your bottom line.

These, or any other constructive goals, are the first step in living a better, more fulfilled life.

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From Resolution to Achievement: 8 Tips for Making Your New Year’s Commitments Stick

Yesterday was New Years and, if you are like most people, you took some time to reflect on the outgoing year and set some resolutions for the year ahead. Maybe you decided to make a lifestyle change, such as eating healthier and exercising more. Perhaps you determined that it was time for more work-life balance or to travel more often. You may have set some business-related goals, such as making more sales calls or taking other action steps that will improve your bottom line.

These, or any other constructive goals, are the first step in living a better, more fulfilled life.

But we know that for so many, New Year’s resolutions are more commonly associated with failed aspirations and wishful thinking than with real, sustained change. We promise ourselves that we will think and do differently, but often quickly lapse into the same bad habits that promoted us to make said resolutions in the first place.

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What’s Your One Sentence?

In his bestselling book Drive (pp. 154-155), author Dank Pink references a conversation between Congresswoman Claire Boothe Luce and President John F. Kennedy. Sensing that the president had too many competing agendas, she sought to focus him by asking him to think about his “one sentence”.

Each great person, she said, has a single sentence that describes him/her. For Abrhama Lincoln, she said, it was “He preserved the union and freed the slaves”. In the case of FDR, a fitting single sentence would be, “He lifted us up from the Great Depression and helped us win a world war”. Because of his competing agendas, Luce felt that Kennedy’s one sentence would instead become an overly muddled paragraph.

We all can have single sentences that describe us, even if our contributions are not as deep and lasting as the aforementioned presidents. Whether they say something about us as individuals, as leaders or as community contributors, having the ability to construct a single sentence that captures our essence can serve as a great guidepost and motivator.

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Why I Set Goals This Morning (and Why You Should Too)

As I see it, the benefits of goal setting are many, including:

  1. They help you organize your thoughts – You probably have many things on your unofficial to-do list. Setting goals allows you to select from that list and set some direction. (Note: Daily goals are even more effective when they are developed in the broader context of monthly or long-term goals, such as the need to complete a client project or write a book. When you do this exercise in that context, it produces a broader sense of clarity and direction and can better inform what each individual day should look like.)   
  2. They help you prioritize – Along the same lines, goal setting allows you to look at the list that you’re created and determine what the priorities are within the list. What are your must-haves and what are the things that would be nice to achieve but are less imperative?
  3. They allow you to better organize your day – Based on what needs to get done and the available time slots (45 before lunch, 20 minutes until carpool, etc.) you can slot things in where they have the best chance of getting done while also factoring in the rest of your agenda.
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