I’ve discovered something big in the last few months. It’s going to help you achieve exactly what you want in life. Yeah, it’s that big 🙂
With the new year approaching, I want to tell you the secret to achieving your goals before you set New Year’s resolutions that you give up on around the second week of February (when most resolutions die).
The Secret to Achieving Your Goals No One Tells You
So here’s what I’ve discovered: A Year is Too Long. Shorter Goals Create Urgency Which Equals Success!
Over the years, I’ve seen myself make very little progress toward longer-term goals like New Year’s resolutions. They all seem to fizzle out after a while, if I make any progress at all.
I’ve accomplished more when I’ve set shorter term goals: Tracking my calories for 3 weeks, decluttering the whole house so we could be ready to move within 2 months, reaching a small savings goal within 12 weeks…
I read a book called The 12 Week Year in September and realized that the reason I’ve been more successful with shorter goals is because there is more of a sense of urgency. To accomplish something specific in 12 weeks or less, you really have to focus on it. Even one week wasted can be detrimental.
With a New Year’s resolution, you have the whole year! That can mean time to not worry about it, make excuses, or wait for life to calm down (it doesn’t). And I’ve done this!
One year, I set a goal to save $1200 in my retirement account for the year. That meant that I just needed to save $100 every month. I started out well but then we had some things pop up that caused me to put a hold on my monthly savings. I figured that I’d make up for it after a few months off. Well, by the time a few months had passed, it meant that I would need to save a way higher/unrealistic amount each month to reach my goal by the end of the year. I lost the sense of urgency to accomplish my goal because I thought I had extra time.
I love1 The 12 Week Year because it walks you through the processes of dreaming and thinking of your long term goals. But then, you look at those goals and choose what is most important for you to work on in the next 12 weeks – NOT the next year.
I’m nearing the end of my first “12 Week Year” right now and while I haven’t perfectly achieved each of the goals I set, I have come so much closer to accomplishing them than I would have otherwise.
I set income goals for my business and found myself looking for unique ways to market and connect so that I could reach that goal — normally, I just let things happen without putting too much extra thought into it. I’ve been more focused on getting important tasks done instead of getting dragged down by daily details. There’s not extra time to waste if I’m going to reach these goals so I don’t let myself waste time. I’ve still been working the same amount of hours but I have been much more productive.
Setting the Right Goals
I do think that setting short-term goals means that I need to be careful about how many goals that I set. If I set too many goals, there’s just not enough time in the day to truly prioritize working out, counting my calories, going on date nights, learning a new language, increasing my income, and reading 3 books per month.
It’s important to look at your long term goals and then choose a few areas to work on with laser-focus for a short period of time. Then you can choose something else to work on next.
If you’re making a few New Year’s resolutions, maybe look at those and then plan out exactly what you’ll be doing for January to work toward those resolutions. After that, look at specific things you can do in February to make it happen.
The New Year’s resolutions are the long-term goals. You’ll be more successful in accomplishing them if you decide on short-term goals to get you there in smaller steps.
I’ve got a big list of long-term goals I’d like to accomplish over the next 5-10 years and I’ll still be making a few New Year’s Resolutions. But this year, I’ll be backing up those long-term goals with smaller short-term goals that will give me the urgency to make it happen!
As I’ve seen myself accomplish more in the last 12 weeks than I might have in a whole year, I truly see the potential of setting short term goals that help me get to where I want to be in long run.
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