Every game has a start time. There is also a time when the game ends, and the players can review their performance, design new strategies and start all over again without carrying the weight of the past.
You may lose miserably, but fortunately, the game ends. You have another opportunity to dust yourself, wipe the slate clean, review your strategies and start again with high expectations for the next game.
The game of life is not different. There are days we win, and there are days we may not be able to achieve all that we have planned to do.
The seasons of life provide an opportunity to reset our expectations no matter what has happened in the past.
Unfortunately, we rush from one activity to another without allowing ourselves to review the progress made, put the past flaws behind us and look forward to the future with renewed hope.
The start of a new year may seem like an ordinary day, week or month, but it offers an extraordinary opportunity for a fresh start. Hence, the popularity of New Year’s resolutions.
The new year is an opportunity to reflect on your life, start afresh and set new goals.
In this new year, you can wipe the slate clean and start again regardless of what happened in the past year. You have an incredible opportunity to examine your life journey in line with our values and highest aspirations.
Many ideas abound, but in this article, I share a couple of principles and steps that can aid you so you can set meaningful goals and achieve them.
A. Timeless truths about goal setting:
First, there are three truths to remember as you set your goals for 2024 and beyond. These three truths hold generally:
1. We underestimate what we can achieve in 10 years and overestimate what we can achieve in 1 year. You may not earn your 1st million in 2024, but you can before the decade ends. Your life may not change radically in one year. However, you can set the foundation for a great future in one year.
2. We unlock our greatness by doing hard things rather than crossing a finish line. You can push yourself a little further. Do not strive to finish first. Focus on what matters to your life. Life is not a race.
3. We undermine our efforts when we feel unworthy of the goals we set for ourselves. You deserve every goal you set for yourself. Heaven has put it in your heart. If you work towards it, then you can achieve it.
B. Steps to effective goal setting:
Spend time and effort to make your new year goals specific, measurable and time-bound, though they may be audacious. For every goal you set, you must do the following:
1. Identify the benefits you can derive from achieving your goals and the cost of neglecting to do what you must do. These will keep you focused and motivated when you feel like giving up.
2. Develop a plan to anticipate and address potential barriers or challenges that may cause you to deviate from your intended course. Life events happen, but rarely should they be the excuse for our lack of progress.
3. Act on the basic ideas you can implement immediately to generate momentum and set yourself up for success in the major areas. Consider the tortoise because it only makes progress by sticking its neck out. Set up the first meeting, make the call, and investigate what you need to do to start work on your goals.
C. Develop your goal package:
We enhance our chances of success when our goals are integrated and serve a bigger purpose in line with our values. It is about balance and harmony in our lives.
Our lives have many facets, and our goal-setting process must respect that. Do not adopt someone’s goal as your goal because that sounds interesting and trendy.
A way to address this is to set goals for every aspect of your life. This process helps you to avoid setting goals that may undermine or conflict with other aspects of your life.
Consider setting a goal in each of the following areas of your life including Faith, Fitness, Family, Finances, Work and Professional Development. Most importantly, your goal package must align with the person you aspire to become. Do not prepare a shopping list of goals. You can set new ones when you achieve the one you have already set.
D. Act on your Goals:
Once you have used the steps and ideas above to set your goals, you have to act on your goals.
The magic happens when you begin to act on your goals. William Hutchison Murray beautifully captures the power of taking action on our goals.
He notes, “Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.”
The above is an encouragement to start working on your goals even when you do not have all your ducks in a row.
Starting is great, but you need to keep your momentum. You can sustain your progress by sharing your goals with someone you can trust to hold you accountable. We go farther by going together.
Happy New Year!
….be of good cheer.
The writer is the Founder of the CEO Accelerator Program and Chief Learning Strategist at TEMPLE Advisory. He specializes in leadership development, executive coaching and strategy consulting.
The mission of The Leadership Project is to harvest highly effective leadership practices and share them in a manner that other leaders can easily incorporate into their leadership practice.