When mulling over 2013 and answering the questions in the last post of the year, you will have 6 lists of information and learning.
The primary intention was to remind you what you achieved and completed in 2013 to:
help gain / maintain pride
remind you of your self-worth
create a nice warm fuzzy feeling
There were also some secondary intentions of using that information to:
turn our attention to 2014 with a clear head
come up with specific goals
take control of your life
Are you ready to take control of your life?
Start now by deciding what you want to be on those lists at the end of 2014.
What big things do you want to have done?
What little things do you want to have done?
How are you going to be less of an asshole?
What do you want to learn?
How are going to increase your level of comfort?
What would make you proud?
What ends up on these lists are your goals.
The list may be big, small, it’s likely to change during the year, and you probably won’t achieve them all, but having some intentions is important.
I’ve written before that it’s dysfunctional not to have goals, but did you know that it’s proven that people who have goals are happier in life?
Studies of older Americans find that one of the best predictors of happiness is whether a person considers his or her life to have a purpose. Without a clearly defined purpose, seven in ten individuals feel unsettled about their lives; with a purpose, almost seven in ten feel satisfied. – Lepper 1996
Goals are crucial to one’s orientation to the world and to life satisfaction. If one’s goals conform to one’s self-concept, it increases by 43 percent the likelihood that goals will contribute in a positive fashion to life satisfaction. – Emmons and Kaiser 1996
So with that insight in mind – what next?
Prioritisation. Order your goals by what is most important to you.
Once prioritised, take just the number one item and work out what tasks need to be done in order to achieve it.
What things do you need to do in order to mark it as complete?
The trick is to make the tasks small e.g. to write a book you may include; outline a structure (beginning, middle and end may also be separate tasks); listing the impact that you want to have; research other books in the area; write the first chapter; find a title etc.
You will probably end up with a list that’s longer than you first thought. Lots of little things that need to be done in order to achieve your goal and this may seem daunting as the size or scale of it grows, but don’t worry. Again take a moment to prioritise these tasks and then just pick the first thing.
What thing has to be done before anything else? Commit to doing only that and give yourself a cut off date to complete it by. Can it be done today? Can it be done this week?
Bang – you are one step closer to achieving that goal. 1-0 to you.
I’ve historically been very good at trying to juggle too many things at once, and not approaching things in a logical order. And guess what I’ve learnt? It doesn’t work! I might be getting stuff done, but not that important stuff that will get me closer to achieving a goal.
Hopefully you can see the pattern here, by continuously breaking things down to smaller chunks the overall goal becomes less daunting and easier to tackle and is therefore more likely to be realised. Piece by piece, one step at a time.
Also did you know that sharing your goals greatly increase your chance of success? So feel free to use the comments to share your goals for 2014 with me and the other readers. You’ll find a bunch of people willing you on, and encouraging you to achieve your goals for the year.
In that vain, here’s a big thing I want to achieve in 2014 – write a book. Actually I want to write a couple of books, but to try it out I’m starting with a small, free e-book to encourage new readers to the blog (don’t worry you’ll all get a copy too), I’ve already:
outlined the structure
got a title
asked a friend to act as editor
started writing the content
My next task is: complete the introduction. And I’m going to do this by: end of January.
I’ll post a link on the newsletter, by Friday the 31st Jan. The first small thing I need to do to start this is to plan time to sit down and put pen to paper over the next couple of weeks (guess what I’ll be doing tomorrow morning!).
So – what is the first goal that you are going to tackle this year? What are the tasks that make up the goal? Which is the first one that you need to do to get the ball rolling? When are you going to do it by?
What are you waiting for?