According to squidoo dot com, the Top Ten New Year Resolutions are:
1. Stop Smoking
2. Get into a Habit of being Fit
3. Lose Weight
4. Enjoy Life More
5. Quit Drinking
6. Get Organized
7. Learn Something New
8. Get out of Debt
9. Spend More Time With Family
10. Help People
Sound familiar? Sound intriguing? Sounds impossible and improbable to me.
If a client came to me with these goals, here are the observations and suggestions I would make:
Most of the goals are not measurable.
How much more will you enjoy life? How much time will you spend with family? How much weight will you lose?
Sometimes absolutes, such as stop smoking or quit drinking are effective. Sometimes they are overwhelming.
Focusing on something you can have makes it a lot easier and more fun.
Whenever someone is “stopping” or “losing” I also love to ask, so what will you start or gain? Focusing on something you can have makes it a lot easier and more fun. Nobody wants to live in deprivation. And to “stop smoking” only makes you focus on smoking. If you are going to start walking as a result of “stop smoking,” then isn’t it more pleasant to focus on noticing the places you like to walk or the sights you see while walking?
Some of the goals are not well defined.
What does “get organized” mean? Does it mean establishing a bookkeeping system? Or clearing clutter? Or have a schedule of chores?
Sometimes goals are simply too big or have many steps.
For example, if “get organized” means establishing an accounting system, perhaps one first needs to research accounting systems. Then perhaps a decision about whether to keep accounting online or on paper needs to be made.Perhaps a budget for accounting needs to be established (and this might open other possibilities such as hiring a bookkeeper or might limit the software choices one would consider).
So, when writing goals, be sure to:
1. Make them measurable
2. Make them positive and expansive – something to focus on
3. Define goals as specifically as possible