Let’s talk a little bit about setting goals, shall we? We’re now six months into 2015, and for many of us the resolutions that were so optimistically made (whether personally or for business) are already long forgotten. Maybe you swore this was the year you were going to lose weight or work out every day. Perhaps you resolved to read more business books or declutter your office. But instead you find yourself in the exact same place you were in December.
Why do plans that start out with the best of intentions so often become little more than a daydream? Because setting joyless goals without an action plan in place to achieve them is a complete waste of time. So I’d like to invite you to do a resolution re-do, and this time we’re going to do it a little differently. The first step? Start by writing down the things that make you happy and elevate your soul. Think about the types of things that you want to experience, learn, and create. Dream big and be unrealistic….what would you do if you had nothing to lose? You can’t build what you don’t dare to dream.
Need help figuring out how to get there? Here are my top ten practices for mapping out a year (and life!) that is filled with joy and success:
- Be Honest: What do you really want? Let your imagination run wild. Allow yourself to exercise your delusions of grandeur, deepest desires, and wildest dreams.
- Jump In: Start with the easy, fun, and even unrealistic stuff first. Do the things that elevate your spirit and excite your mind.
- Master Time: Understand how scheduling and timing matter. Schedule your commitments, fun activities, experiences, and time for creating. Manage your time and energy so that you can give what you need to the things that you love.
- Develop Discipline: Creating a sense of discipline will give you a sense of clarity and new level of freedom. Your life should feel like it’s your choice! Create frameworks and triggers that help you get to where you want to go.
- Be Decisive: Learn how to say ‘yes’ without resentment and ‘no’ without regret. If you know who you are and how you want to show up in this world, then this should become easier over time. Don’t sacrifice your goals out of a false sense of obligation.
- Modus Operandi: You have to know your M.O. What is driving you? What is your passion? Build on your strengths and then find fun ways around your weaknesses.
- Be Positive: Be playful and infuse fun into the activities that you dread. You are supposed to enjoy life (and ideally work as well)…otherwise, why are you doing it? For whom? Remember, it is unlikely that you will create anything of real value if you loathe the process.
- Practice Gratitude: Every. Single. Day. A quick list of five items in the morning that make you feel grateful will suffice. I know we hear this all the time and it seems so simple. That’s because it is.
- Have Integrity. Mean what you say and say what you mean. Make sure your actions are aligned with who you want to be. Life is easier when you learn how to clearly communicate. There is no need to make excuses!
- Nurture Relationships: Keep good company and know the people who are on your team. Find like-minded friends and colleagues with whom you can share joy. Invest in people who elevate you, and set healthy boundaries around those who don’t.
Give it a try. By applying these principles daily to move consistently toward your goals, you will see that anything is possible and you just may discover some amazing surprises along the way. It’s not too late to have a joyous and success-filled 2015, so reset those resolutions and start living the life that you want!
Silvia Christmann is an executive growth coach and leadership advisor to various organizations.