Have you ever had a goal for yourself that you didn’t reach? Most of us have.
Forbes did a study a few years ago and found that just 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s Resolutions. By anyone’s account that is a depressing statistic.
As we begin another year chances are you have some goals you would like to achieve. Maybe you want to lose weight, declutter your home, spend more time with your kids, get out of debt, or find a new job. There are a lot of different approaches to goal-setting, but many of them are so complicated that they end up keeping us from the very things we’re trying to accomplish.
The solution to achieving your goals this year won’t be found in another complicated system, but in a simpler approach.
Simple is the new black. The more we embrace simple the more success and enjoyment we will experience, not only in our every day life but in our journey to achieve our goals as well.
Here are three simple tips to help you set and achieve your goals this year:
1. Set fewer “do” goals.
The problem most people have is that they are trying to work on too many goals at the same time. Make a list of the things you want to accomplish in the next few years, then circle the three most important goals on that list. Focus on just these three goals. When you accomplish one of these goals you can add another from your list into your top three. Focusing on no more than three goals at a time will increase your chances of reaching them.
2. Set more “be” goals.
Most people, when they think of goals, think about things they want to accomplish, like buying a new house, paying off their student loans, or getting a promotion at work. Author and speaker Andy Stanley says, “It is always a mistake to decide what you want to accomplish before you first determine who you want to be.” Before you set your “do” goals, set your “be” goals.
Make a list of 3-7 key words that you want to be true of you. Write a short sentence of what’s at stake if you aren’t that kind of person. This will keep you inspired and motivated. Here are a few of my “be” goals for this year:
I want to be available so the people I love know I love them.
I want to be dependable because irresponsibility damages my reputation.
I want to be honest because dishonesty destroys relationships.
I want to be humble because serving leads to significance.
I want to be kind because I want people to be kind to me.
I want to be relaxed because a relaxed attitude lengthens my life.
3. Create space in your home and schedule.
Busyness and clutter are the two biggest obstacles to achieving our goals. We need space in our home and schedule so we can have the time and attention we need to accomplish our goals.
Create space in your schedule by eliminating some of the commitments in your life. Politely say no to any request that doesn’t line up with your priorities or goals (both the “be” ones and the “do” ones). This may mean disappointing some people, but that is better than disappointing yourself.
Create space in your home by getting rid of your clutter. Get rid of everything in your home that you don’t need or want. Be ruthless in your pursuit of a clutter free life. The less stuff you allow in your home the less stuff you will have weighing you down. Intentionally owning less stuff means having fewer obstacles standing between you and your goals.
You may have tried and failed at setting and achieving your goals in the past. This year can be different. Using this simple approach will help you discover the most important things for you to work on this year and accomplish them. And you’ll become a better person in the process.