Five Strategies for Making it a Happy Year

celebrate-1835387_1920One of my clients sent me an email this morning telling me he was anxious to make his business “great again” this year. During a follow-up, he began to lay out specific objectives that he wanted, and needed, to achieve. We discussed the objectives, the necessary resources, and the potential challenges in making his dream come true. I love it! My client is leveraging his emotional energy, prompted by a New Year, to press forward in actual strategies, tactics and behaviors to make things happen.

It is easy to get beaten down by the events of life, lackluster results, and stalled goals. Motivation, once lost, is often only regained with great struggle. This is true for both individuals and organizations. There are ways, however, to keep those New Year Resolutions and Business Goals on track throughout the entire year. Here are a few proven strategies to consider:

1. Make Sure Your Goal is Realistic

Don’t get me wrong, I believe in big dreams, but if you are 65 and 4 feet tall, you probably won’t become the next Center for the Boston Celtics no matter how much you “think you can.” Instead, focus on your strengths and create goals that leverage your natural abilities and experience.

2. Turn Big Dreams into Manageable Objectives

Unrealistic and long-term expectations are often dream killers. We all need to see that we are making progress. If we do not, it is easy to become discouraged and give up. Instead of writing down huge goals, break them into smaller, more easily measurable, objectives. For example, instead of “lose 40 lbs”, consider “lose 3-4 lbs per month. The later goal gives you something to shoot for in the short term, and still moves you toward your overall dream. The former goal is one that may get shelved until December when it is not realistically attainable.

3. Partner Up

Studies show that people who partner up are more likely to achieve their goals. Most people find that doing things together is simply a lot more fun than going at it alone. Life Coaches are especially skilled at providing support, encouragement and accountability to help you with your goals, but a good friend is often effective as well. Friends and spouses are especially helpful when they join you in the workout or other task.

4. Do What You Do Best

The independent American spirit – pull yourself up by your bootstraps – is a great thing but is sometimes overplayed. The truth is we all need other people. We may say that we did it all by ourselves, but the truth is we didn’t refine the oil into gasoline to put in our car, we probably didn’t make our own clothes, we may not have even made our own hamburger. Even if we could do all those things, it wouldn’t be very efficient. We rely on other people everyday to do what they do, so we can do what we do. Why should our business goals be any different?

If you need a website for your business, for example, you could take on-line courses, learn HTML, HTTP, CSS, JavaScript, Apache, PHP, Design Practices, etc. etc. etc. OR you could hire someone that really enjoys doing all that stuff so you can spend more time doing what you enjoy. I don’t know about you, but I would rather work a little harder at the things I am good at so I can afford to pay someone else to do the things I don’t like to do.

5. Make Your Goals SMART

In short, SMART goals are goals that are:

● Specific – This no time to be vague. If you don’t know what you are aiming at, how will you know if you hit it?

● Measurable – Don’t just use qualitative words like “more” or “better”. Make your goals measurable. How many pounds do you want to lose? How much more money do you want to earn? How much more time will you spend reading?

● Attainable – Is it realistic to believe you can achieve this goal? See #1.

● Relevant – Make sure your goal fits into your values and deepest desires. If you want to be a better father, going after business that keeps you away from your children all the time, will not help you achieve a happy and successful life.

● Time-Specific – What is the lifetime of the goal? Week? Month? Quarter?

I trust you find these helpful, and I hope you have a phenomenal and successful 2017!

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