Most people start the new year tired and a few pounds heavier than they were before the holidays. That fuels us to make resolutions to be better, to be healthier, to be more successful. For most of us resolutions disappear from our consciousness faster than a plate of cookies disappears from my kitchen. So are they even worth it? Probably not.
Resolutions are not the same as goals, however. Goals have some important qualities that can help us change our behaviors. They include a realistic timeline, action plan, and vision of what the results will bring. Most of us know the acronym S.M.A.R.T. for setting goals: specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time-based. More important than these, however, is the vision. You need to have an honest answer to the question: why do I care? What will be different in your life if you achieve the goal? What will your life look like if you don’t? If there is no compelling vision of what you will gain, the status quo will look a lot more attractive than the pain of change.
This is the same process our customers go through when they look at our offerings. You may offer lots of attractive (to you) features and benefits, but if we don’t help them develop a vision, they don’t have a compelling reason to act. They need to be able to close their eyes and see their people using our stuff to make life better if they are going to give up the status quo and the comfort of the familiar for a painful transition to something new.
Next, you have to keep the goal in front of you. Review it every day. Keep it front-of-mind. Pay attention.
Finally, sharing your goal with someone you trust can help you be more committed and can increase your odds for success.
It’s a lot of work. Is it worth it? Research has proven that people with goals are consistently happier than people without them—even if they don’t achieve them. Why? Perhaps it’s that the human heart needs hope and aspirations. I don’t know for sure, but I do know that working our goals, unlike making resolutions, can make us better people living happier lives.
Wishing you happiness, health, and success in 2016.