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achieving goals - Beyond the glamour of the start

Updated: Feb 19, 2023

It's likely that at some point over the last couple of weeks, you have had a conversation or read something about new year's resolutions. I know I have. You will also know someone, maybe even yourself that starts each year full of enthusiasm for a goal to achieve only to find that you fall short of what you want within weeks of starting. You'd be in good company if you were.

There are multiple research studies on this topic. A common component is that circa 10% of people achieve what they set out to do. Despite 50-60% being confident of success at the start.

Often people fall victim to the glamour and enthusiasm of starting something and then meet the reality of daily life. Maybe 2023 is different. Here's my BEST framework with four areas to consider in pursuing your goals. In all four, determining want will help or hinder your success.

Your Behaviours

I guess this is an obvious place to start. What behaviours can you draw upon to help you achieve what you want? And equally important are there behaviours you have that will get in the way of you being successful. This takes a degree of self-awareness, so allow time to reflect and consider the answer to the two questions fully. It can sometimes be insightful to ask someone you trust the same questions.

Your Environment

First, let me clarify what I mean by your environment. Everything in and around your world. The people, the physical things, your job etc. Doing an audit of your environment with your resolution as the focus can be very powerful.

If your resolution is to get a bit fitter…

  • Have you clarified the 'why' you want to be fitter? Writing it down and having that in your environment where you will see it can be a game changer. Or having your why expressed in a picture or photo, some people find equally beneficial.

  • ·Assessing the people in your environment could reveal the friends you might exercise with or the friend who will drag you to the pub. You can then decide if you need to do something different with them.

  • Want to run? Is there a new top you need to buy that fits your current body shape? If ignored, this one can set up resistance. If you don't feel comfortable, your brain will do all it can to protect you. Unfortunately, much of this protection is likely to be irrational. That's not how it will feel.

  • What triggers are in the environment? Some will encourage what you want, and some will trigger you to do the opposite.

Your Skills

What skills could you enhance or develop to help with a sustainable approach? If the resolution is to say what you think instead of holding back. Do you need to develop your communication toolkit?

Your Time

Often time is the blocker to so many resolutions failing. Recently I was recommended this Ted Talk by Laura Vanderkam on 'time management'. I would recommend it to anyone being challenged by this topic. I'm not a fan of the term time management. It's a fallacy that draws people into a host of 'time hacks' believing they are the solution to their time challenges. Understand me, there can be some value in the tools, tips and tricks. However, I agree with Laura's hypothesis about priority management. If your resolution is really a priority make sure you schedule it first as you think about the week ahead. Yes, life won't pan out as you'd like. However, if you truly understand your priorities, you will find a way to make them happen.

As I write this, it's the 14th of January. Two weeks into 2023. If you have fallen short of what you'd like, when it comes to your resolution, please don't judge yourself. Judgement is like poison. You need to get it out of you before it does even more damage. I can't think of a single time personally or professionally where judgement has served well. Instead, how about reconnecting with your resolution intent and using the framework above to set yourself up for success?

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