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New Year Resolutions In Action
January 17, 2020

Week 3 – Taking Action and Maintaining Momentum

So by now you should have some goals that are SMART (if you have no idea what the heck I'm talking about, you can catch up on previous newsletters in this series here). So what do you do now?

Having some SMART goals is a great start, but your resolutions or goals aren't going to magically appear in your life by without any effort. No, you can't sit on the sofa and manifest a new home, car or CEO position. And if anyone tells you differently, run the other way.

It IS going to take ACTION on your part. Afterall, Progress is not possible without Change - yes, that can be a scary word, but without any change in your current habits, behaviour or action, then how can you achieve anymore than what you're achieving now?

So look at your goals, and understand what needs to 'change' for you to achieve them. Now this may seem pretty obvious for some goals - change the way you eat, change your level of activity, change how many cigarettes you smoke, change how you spend/ save/ manage your money.

But others are more difficult. Some may require training or additional resources for you to achieve, others may require lots of practice of a skill. Others may involve a change in the way you interact with others...

What ever change is required for you to achieve your goals, you need to identify it and then plan how to make this change in your day to day activities. Afterall, you need to plan to become what you plan to become!

The ToolBOX on the website contains FREE forms, templates and worksheets for all your goal setting needs.

In the ToolBOX you’ll find the ”Weekly Planner” [also available in black and white] as well as daily and monthly planners.

The purpose of these templates is to prompt you to organise your time. And by organising your time and planning your weekly schedule and activities, you can more easily slot in activities dedicated to achieving your goals.

The trick to using these planners is to use them all together, and not in isolation. So in case you were wondering whether it is better to use the detailed daily planner or the overview monthly planner or the in-between weekly planner – well the answer is to use all of them!

And here’s how:

  • First of all, use the monthly planner to map out your monthly activities. Include scheduled appointments, school activities, engagements – and include blocks of time for working on setting and achieving your goals.
  • Secondly, using the monthly planner as a basis, prepare the first cut of your weekly planners for the whole month. Include the items in the “To Do” list as things you really need to get done that week, as well as allocating time slots for your programmed activities. You can start to breakdown your time slots into more detail on this planner.
  • And finally, every day – refer to your weekly planner and prepare a plan for the day’s activities. Include appointments as well as the breakdown of goal setting activities so you know exactly what you’re going to do, and when! And make sure you use the “To Do” list, with anything not done carried over to the next day’s list.
By using planners in this way, not only will you meet all your appointments, but you’ll also achieve progress towards your goals because you’ve assigned time for working on them. And of course, planners allow you to take long term thinking and turn it into day-to-day activities so you know you’re heading in the right direction and at the rate pace to achieve your goals on time.

So try using the system of planners today, and see if it helps you become better organised at achieving your goals.

For more information on how to use planners and schedules, refer to the ”Planners” page of the website, under the “Life Skills” tab on the NavBar.

Remember that your plan doesn't need to be perfect before you make a start on it, and it also needs to be flexible enough to allow for the invariable curve-balls that life throws at you.

But the important thing now is to take action! Many false steps are taken by standing still - just get out there and do it! And stick to it - perseverance is not a long race. It’s a series of smaller races. So keep your eye on the prize, but be sure to celebrate the small successes along the way.

So get out there and pursue your resolutions with open arms and believe deeply in your ability to enjoy the rewards of resolutions and dreams achieved. And remember, Success is not a destination, it's a journey - so make sure you enjoy the journey too.

And don’t forget, you can try one or more of the following FREE resources to help you on your journey:

There’s also an article below on “7 deadly sins of goal setting” and "How birds set goals".

So until next week, happy goal setting! And wishing you a New Year of health, wealth, and happiness.

Best regards

Sam Sander
Achieve Goal Setting Success

The Daily Goal Machine Helps You Get Stuff Done

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7 deadly sins of goal setting

Goal setting is a straight forward process, but so many people fail along the way or just can’t make it work. Why? Well there are 7 main reasons why goal setting fails - I am sure there are more than 7, but are the biggies.

1. Not putting goals in writing “Out of sight, out of mind” is the best way to explain why goals and the supporting action plans need to be put in writing. The best way to reinforce key concepts and your commitment to your goals is to have them written down where you can read them regularly [daily!].

2. Being unrealistic Just because you’ve written down a goal doesn’t mean it is just going to magically happen. You need to take action to achieve your goals, and the only way you’ll be able to get there is if the goals are reasonable and realistic in the first place. If you set unrealistic goals, you are just setting yourself up for failure.

The biggest culprit here is setting unrealistic deadlines for achieving goals. How long do you think it takes to learn a new skill? Develop a new habit? Quit an old one? – probably longer than you think, so be realistic.

And there are just some things that we really can’t do – not everyone can be a prima ballerina or world-class athlete. We are all limited by our own predispositions and natural abilities.

3. Motivations are unclear Goals must be personal and meaningful, otherwise you’ll have no reason to achieve them. In other words, the “Why” is more important than the “What”.

Just think about the popular goal of “making more money”. This goal is baseless and meaningless unless you have a reason driven by your inner-most desires and needs. You need to ask yourself “Why do I want to earn more money?” – to keep up with the Brown’s is not a meaningful reason. To pay for private education for your kids, or to live in a safer suburb, or to buy a new car because the old one is on its death-bed – they are all meaningful reasons, because they are personal to you.

4. Not having a plan Having a meaningful goal in writing is only half the story – you need an action plan to tell you how to get there. Back to the analogy of the map – the goal is the destination, the map is how to get there. All successful missions have had a plan or strategy, so be patient and don’t just rush in, but take the time to plan the journey so you take the best route.

5. Not taking action Having a flawless plan aimed at getting you to that dream destination is not worth the paper its written on if it just sits in your draw – you must ACT on your plan! The plan will guide you and tell you what to do, but you still need to get off the couch and, in the words of Nike…Just Do It!

6. Losing Focus Success at achieving your goals requires focus, commitment and persistence. Sometimes your energy may be low and you’ll lose this focus, but it’s important not to give up – get back up on that horse, visualize the outcome of that dream goal and continue on your way.

To help keep you focused, try enlisting the help of a close friend or loved one or even a personal mentor to confide in through the process. You can share you successes [and failures] with them to help you grow from these experiences.

7. No Flexibility Goal setting is an on-going process and needs to be flexible enough to allow for interesting detour and opportunities discovered along the way.

Your priorities and therefore your goals may also change from time to time (for example if you start a family) and if this is the case, its important to sit down and go through the goal setting process again to make sure your goals still have that personal meaning to make you WANT to achieve them.

How birds set goals

No, this isn’t a page on successful wildlife – but rather an illustration of how we are all different and how those differences affect the way we set goals and achieve our lot in life. What bird are you, and how does this affect the way YOU set goals and achieve?

Think of someone you know who is successful – how do they act or behave? What are their traits? Do you think this helped them succeed? How do you compare? What characteristics of yours do you think affect the way you achieve?

Some traits are more in tune with success and achievement than others, but it doesn’t mean that the rest of us are doomed! We just need to be aware of what characteristics help us achieve and use these to our advantage - and what characteristics hold us back and turn these into positive drivers.

So to set your own goals, you need to understand yourself and your personality first. Goal setting is a personal journey, so it is important for you to know what makes you unique and what makes you tick.

Behaviour Profiling in Goal Setting – and what this has to do with birds!

The concept of a behaviour profile was developed in the late 1920’s as a result of psychologist Dr. William Marston’s theory that there are four basic personality types - D for Dominant, I for Influencer, S for Steady and C for Compliant (or DISC for short).

Over the years, different versions of the same theory developed and the ‘bird’ version by Dr. Couture has become quite popular as most people can relate easier to a visual object like a bird, rather than just a descriptive word.

You and I fit into one of these basic personality types, which define the way we interact with other people, the way we go about life, our personal drivers and how we succeed. We will often relate better to people who have a similar behaviour profile, and find other behaviour patterns annoying and maybe even a little intimidating.

But more importantly, these behaviours have a major impact on how we progress through life.

So what are the 4 behaviour types? In a nutshell they are: Dove: The compassionate and peaceful dove. The dove is people-orientated, loyal, friendly, hard working and a great team player but tends to avoid change, confrontation, risk-taking and assertiveness. Doves find success through their ‘people skills’, relationships and networking and by recruiting other people to help achieve their goals.

Owl: The wise owl. The owl is logical, mathematically minded, methodical and sometimes seen as a perfectionist. The owl can be slow to make decisions and inflexible if rules and logic says otherwise. Owls are not big risk takers but love detail. Owls find success through their expertise, logical approach and ‘expert’ knowledge, and by using this methodical nature to work through the goal setting process and focus on the right target.

Peacock: The showy peacock. The peacock loves talking, being the centre of attention, has passion/ enthusiasm and is happy/ optimistic. Peacocks can be accused of talking too much, and aren’t good with detail or time-control. Peacocks find success through following their passion, maintaining their positive approach to life and by recruiting other people using their natural enthusiasm to help achieve goals.

Eagle: The bold eagle. Eagles are dominant, stimulated by challenge, decisive and direct. Eagles can be blunt/ stubborn, can lose sight of the big-picture and can be insensitive to other people’s needs. Eagles are natural achievers. Eagles find success because of their own natural ambition, drive and motivation to achieve. Being a natural goal setter, eagles will succeed if they keep focus.

What bird are you? [There’s a DOPE test in the ToolBOX on the website if you’re not sure]

And there are some other personality type tests that are helpful when setting goals:

  • Intelligence preferences – we all like and are good at different things, and this affects what goals we set. Find out what your interests are. No this is not an IQ test, but rather an assessment of what type of things interest you and therefore what your ‘natural’ intelligence or aptitude is.
  • Personal Motivation – we are all motivated by different things, some inherent to our traits and some driven by our life situation. Find out what motivates you.

So, there are several personal indicators that influence what you do, how you think, how you relate to other people and how you succeed. The key thing is that you understand YOU as a person and what this means for your own goal setting journey and ultimate success.

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