Setting New Year Resolutions
As I have mentioned in my earlier post, the New Year period is a good time to review the past year, take stock of what was done/not done, and to set the goals for the new year ahead. Why is this important? In living true to the 2nd Habit, 'Begin with the End in Mind', I believe that having a desired end-state gives one a sense of direction and sets the effort for the year ahead. Without this, its like sailing out in the open sea without a compass; you go where the current brings you, which may not be where you want to go. Likewise, pure hard work without a set of SMART (Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant, Timed) goals is like sawing a tree with a jack-knife; you break a lot of sweat, but the tree don't fall. You only end up with lots of frustrations.
In counter-perspective, many I spoke to have set resolutions and failed to achieve them. To the extend that the notion of setting resolutions is pure nonsense and a waste of time. To these people, I can only offer my sympathy. You see, as in project management, setting SMART goals is only the first step of achieving anything worthwhile. The goals will not manifest themselves simply because an effort was taken to visualise it. The remaining part of the battle lies in consistent and committed effort to execute the plans necessary to see to its achievements.
When one fails to see the essence of what I am preaching here, I am quite certain one will fail to achieve greatness in his/her life.
In this blog article by Don Blohowiak, he recommends 7 steps to make resolutions a reality. These are good guidelines to start with. In addition, I have found this tool, PlanPlus from FranklinCovey, which helps in setting long and short term goals that are aligned to ones' values and roles in their life. It integrates with MS Outlook's tasks list and appointment feature to ensure consistent reminder and review. I find that if you reminded of your goals everyday via Outlook (which most do to check their emails), chances are you are better focused to tackle everyday issues to realise your desired end-states. I am using this tool myself. Highly recommended.