Written by Samrin Inayati
A quarter already into a new decade and you haven’t been able to follow your new year resolutions. The thought makes you cringe.
It’s OK. It’s OK to falter, procrastinate and not follow every task to the T.
However, what matters is that you persist. Even for a small part of the day or week, don’t give up.
Have you ever given a thought as to why do you fail at your resolutions? Unable to carry it on? And then the same cycle repeats for another year.
Because you fail to identify and specify your goals. Resolutions are long term or medium plans, vague, not specific, not time-bound and the journey to the end result is not defined. Hence, they don’t motivate you enough to work towards them.
When you set your intentions towards a specific goal, with an action plan to pursue it, only then it yields the desired result.
Trust me I am not giving all this gyaan for the heck of it. I have personally tried, tested and learnt that when you have a defined goal in front of you, only then you tediously and sincerely work towards it. I have been able to achieve some of my goals in the past that I planned and carried on with dedication, for example, reading at least one book each month – by the end of the year I had read 13 books, taking a family vacation to an exotic locale - all paid by me – I managed it with a meagre income from multiple resources (had just started out to rejoin work after a gap of 3 years). Also, the kind of exhilarating high these achievements give you is unparalleled.
You need to do these 3 things:
1. Set SMART goals
2. Follow with an Action Plan
3. Have an accountability partner
So most of you already know that SMART goals refer to a goal being:
Specific – Instead of saying I’ll start yoga from tomorrow, set your goal as “I’ll do yoga from 8am. to 8:30 a.m starting from tomorrow. Set your alarm for the next day and sleep early. To make the process more exciting do some little preparation for your goal that makes you look forward to it – like deciding what clothes to wear, purchasing a yoga mat, playing some chants and relaxing music, an ambience that makes you enjoy the process.
Measurable – Measurable refers to setting benchmarks or milestones through your journey on the basis of which you can measure your progress. If your goal is to start your new social media handle then how many much progress have you made there?
Rational/Relevant – Think whether the goal is relevant with the available resources or not. If you have set yourself for goals that do not align with your larger perspective then it is not rational. Don’t overburden yourself just because everyone is doing it.
Time-Bound – Your goal must always be time-bound. Putting an end date to a goal is going to keep you on the path of progress. Break your long-term goals into short term milestones. For example reading 12 books in a year, start with reading 20 pages every day at the same time. If you have skipped a day or two or even a week, try reading more whenever you get free time.
Follow with an action Plan – If you are looking forward to learn a new language, identify your resources, decide on a time for your lessons, keep that a priority and decide on a completion date as you progress ahead.
Having an accountability partner is one of the best ways to keep working. We sometimes need that gentle nudge to come out of our comfort zone and work hard. Share it with a friend who has similar interests or join a Facebook group where you can share your progress.
So are you all set to chase that SMART goal of yours, turning your dreams into reality and being proud of them, as you turn back to look at them by the end of the year?
And let’s dive deep into our actions.