Raise your hand if you're still trying to process 2020's avalanche of shit?
I'm reluctantly looking towards 2021 and loosely setting goals and intentions. From my current perspective, day drinking and scrolling Pinterest have slightly more appeal than 2021 goal and intention setting.
But, I also know that counting my blessings and having things to look forward to are the foundational building blocks of turning 2020s challenges into lessons learned.
And as I've heard it said, "Its okay to have a break down. Just don't unpack and live there." So, take that, 2020! Who's with me?
As I see it, the biggest problem is that we're missing critical information and resources when it comes to goal and intention setting. Science and personal experience have proven to us that simply imagining a desire and then saying, "I'm gonna do that" is not an effective strategy to achieving it.
The majority of people use this method :: Commit + Try, when setting goals and intentions and it simply doesn't work. Consider addicts, for example.
"I am going to quit smoking cold turkey tomorrow." <<< How often have you seen this succeed? The reason it doesn't succeed is because nothing is different and no new information or tools have been introduced to the environment. The individual is setting themselves up to fail by using this methodology, or should I say, lack of methodology.
So, what are we missing?
The root of that problem, is that we don't know what we don't know.
We simply do not know that we are missing critical information and resources. Good news for you though, I have been studying goal setting, intentions, habit formation, and personal development for over twenty years, and I gotchu.
In today's post, I am going to share with you a few of the biggest pieces of missing information I've witnessed personally in my own life and in the lives of my coaching clients. I want you to be able to take this info and apply it to your 2021 for maximum productivity, profitability, and peace.
Setting 2021 Goals & Intentions
1. Get clear about your why.
As you set out to make your 2021 goals and intentions, get very clear about the WHY behind each of them.
Why is this thing important to you? What will you get from achieving it? What pain might you experience if you miss the mark? Is this goal really for you or are you letting someone else define your goal? Finally, does this goal align with your values or might there be a conflict?
2. Are you ready for change?
Being ready for change is a BIG part of goal and intention setting that almost always throws well meaning people off track. There's simply so much to be aware of and keep your eye on. I can't go into depth on all of them but here's a few to be mindful of as you set 2021 goals and intentions.
Do you genuinely believe you can achieve the goal? Are you willing to prioritize the tasks that are necessary to achieve the goal? What do you have to let go of in order to make the space necessary to achieving this goal? Do you have thinking patterns that are sabotaging your progress? How can you quarantine those self sabotaging behaviors and thinking patterns?
3. What is the path to get there?
Oftentimes I see people identify a goal that is important to them and yet they fail to identity the plan or path to get there. Specifically, what are the steps that you must take to arrive at your destination?
What is your desired vision? What's the reality of where you are at currently relative to that future you envision for yourself? What options do you have to move closer to that goal? And of the options you've identified, which way forward will you choose to experiment with first?
4. Are you using SMART goals?
Most of us are familiar with the acronym, SMART, when goal setting. Consider this your reminder to use goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic or Relevant, and Time Bound.
5. WHO will help you get there?
We've all heard, "We're the sum of the five people we spend the most time with" and as much as I cringe when I hear that saying, I've found it to be true.
Take a moment to consider who you're spending the most time with. I'm not suggesting that you axe the people that aren't measuring up. Because, for them, you are helping raise their standards and servant leadership pays big dividends, in my experience. BUT take stock of who you're spending the most time with and diversify the inventory as needed.
Also remember there's no such thing as self help. No one ever got where they were going by themselves. It is critical that you make a plan for who will help you get where you're going and get in front of and around those people on a regular basis.
Physics teaches us we cannot expect change from a closed system and that is what we're doing when we try to achieve something by ourselves.
Consider two toddlers left home alone. Do you expect to return to an even cleaner and tidier space? Of course not. But introduce Super Nanny to the closed system and you can expect new and different results that were previously not possible.
The big question: WHO can help me reach my goal?*
*Hint: it's more than one person and you'll occasionally have to pay for their help or tools.
6. How to get there?
When creating the HOW to get where you're going, it is important to consider strategies and/or systems that can ease your progress. What have others who've gone before you used?
It's also important to consider the specific plan as well as the sequence, timing, and pace of the events along the timeline of your plan. Can you map out a timeline with benchmarks?
Define the activities and frequency of activities needed to meet and exceed your goal.
7. Accountability, adjust, and fix.
Spoiler alert, you're going to experience disappointments and failure on your path to success. But the good news is that the challenging times can be minimized and the lessons learned can be maximized.
When you're accountable to someone and you reflect on what's not working so you can make real time adjustments to the plan and fix problems before they're too far gone, you increase your resiliency and your chances of even faster success.
In closing, skip the Commit + Try method for 2021! Use the above tips and suggestions as fuel for your reflection and journalling as you set your goals and intentions for 2021.
What goal or intention has you most excited right now?
I'd genuinely love to hear from you! Comment below or head over to our social pages (Facebook, LinkedIn, Insta) to share your thoughts.