By Michael Gunther

As we enter another year, it is interesting to me, to hear all the talk about New Year resolutions. From conversations at parties to the media discussing goals for this coming year. They all ask, what are you going to do different or improve this year?  It is as if January 1st provides us the ability to step into life with a blank slate and begin making the changes we want.  It is also intriguing to me the number of resolutions people choose to take on and wonder how many will actually be achieved.

Don’t get me wrong – I am a big believer in goal setting to achieve the things you want to accomplish or change in your personal or professional life.  My whole business is based on helping businesses achieve their goals and transforming performances.  My struggle is the propensity to create a list of resolutions once a year and then, by the end of March many of the resolutions have fallen by the wayside. Along with the conversations that may pursue: I will wait till next year to make the changes and then, the cycle starts all over again.

If you are going to create resolutions this year, I recommend starting with just one resolution:

To learn how to create AND achieve the goals you want in your life by creating and implementing ONE goal at a time.

I encourage you to live in a constant state of evaluating where you are in your life against where you want to be and create new goals throughout the year. To achieve this, focus on one goal at a time.

I have been on the resolution setting merry-go-round many times in my life. I get excited about a fresh new year and all the things I want to do different. I make my list of personal and professional goals I want to focus on to take my life to the next level. Then, with so many goals and changes happening at once, I slowly begin to drop off the implementation phase. Then, I have some success on a few goals and mediocre, if any, movement on others.

I have learned to focus on no more than one to two goals at a time even though I still have a long list of goals to pursue. With those one or two goals, I truly concentrate on changing my behaviors and actions necessary to accomplish these goals. Then, every three months, I step back and assess how I am doing on my goals. Some I may have achieved, others I may still need to work on and then, I reestablish my goals for the next three months.  This ongoing process allows me to narrow my energies on making changes, assess on an ongoing basis, and revisit my goals at least four times a year.

I remember reading an article many years ago that suggested taking just one action every week towards your goal. If you did this every week, within one year, you will take 52 steps towards your goal and will be much further along than if you try to rush into goal achievement and get burned out or overwhelmed along the way.

Bottom Line

I think setting goals and resolutions are important elements in changing aspects of our life that we want to grow or develop. I recommend evaluating your goal setting process if you feel like you start with the best intentions, but never seem to make the changes you want to in your life. Focus on fewer items and take small steps each week that will move you forward and before you know it, you will be achieving what you want.

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