At the start of the new year, many people write lists upon lists of the many changes and improvements they would like to see in their life. They make ambitious plans; however, their goals soon become unattainable or lack longevity. Setting goals and making plans is not the problem, but the method in achieving those goals is what’s flawed.
In 2017, the International Health, Racquet & Sports club Association (IHRSA) surveyed 6,400 gyms in the US and found that gym membership sales spike in January, but between 30-45 percent of people cancel their membership within six months. To understand why many resolutions don’t make it past 30 days, you have to first ask yourself: ‘why do goals fail?’
In order to successfully achieve anything, there must be a process.
Goal -> Visualize -> Work -> Accomplish
Goal : something that you hope to achieve after time and effort is applied; aim.
A goal is more than just an item on a wishlist, it is a SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely) task. Goals have to be specific enough to hold yourself accountable, measurable to track your progress, achievable and realistic to ensure success and timely to determine the length of commitment. Your goal should not be ‘to make more money’; instead, it should be ‘to make $5,000 more per month by…’.
Vision : a mental picture of the result you want to achieve.
After you have determined your SMART goals, you have to begin to visualize. This is an important step that goes beyond the law of attraction, because vision inspires action. No one gets into a car and just drives without first visualizing where they want to go. If you cannot see yourself accomplishing a goal, then do you even believe you can? A vision that is well defined helps you to focus and create a purpose that becomes your measurement for success.
Work : to be engaged in activity to achieve a purpose or result.
In a perfect world, we could write out goals and visualize them, then achieve our intended result. However, nothing can truly be done without work. When we make SMART goals, it is easy to take action when you have specific steps. The goal of simply ‘losing weight’ can be daunting and overwhelming; but deciding to daily meal prep and jog for 30 minutes a day is a much more attainable way to accomplish a big goal with measurable discrete steps.
Accomplishment : to bring about a result by effort; to succeed.
There is nothing better than accomplishing a goal. Wanting success in all we do is a healthy desire and can be attained, when we commit to our goals. Commitment is one of the most fundamental principles of success, because dedication to the task will overcome those moments when you don’t ‘feel like’ working towards your goal. Making a commitment means that you try harder, you look for solutions when faced with obstacles, you don’t consider quitting as an option, and you don’t look back.
As we begin this new decade, it is imperative to set goals for yourself and your future. However, if there no vision, work, or commitment, your goals will only end up as next year’s resolution. So, how do we turn goals into accomplishments? By identifying realistic and specific changes while putting in the work to implement them.
Psalm 20:4 – ‘May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.’
Proverbs 29:18 – ‘Where there is no vision, the people perish.’