Every year the same questions arise just a few minutes into the new year.
“What are your new year’s resolutions?”
I like that question. I like the idea of new year´s resolutions. What I do not like is that there are little thought put into the resolutions and I have never encountered anyone that had establish a follow up plan for the resolution. A resolution is a goal, outcome or achievement that the person would like to meet during the year, and desired achievements should meet some standards if you ask me.
Checklist for achievements
1. You should have defined a purpose for each achievement
This way you know that the desired achievement is yours and not a thing that you adopted because someone else wants you to do it. A great way to do this is to define what is most important to you and create a written life plan. For each desired achievement, ask yourself “How will this achievement contribute to reach my life goals?”. The answer might be the purpose you are after, if not it might be something else, but if you can´t come up with a purpose, consider eliminating the achievement from your list.
2. Achievements should be formulated according to the SMART model
Goals/achievements should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound. I would like to add Challenging to this as well. “Going on holiday to Sweden” is not a well formulated achievement. “Saving € 400 a month during January – July so that I can go to Sweden for 2 weeks of holiday with my wife to Sweden in August” is a much better formulation.
3. What get´s measured, get´s done
Make sure that you have a follow up plan where you follow your achievements on a weekly and monthly basis so that you can take action in time to make sure you reach the desired outcome. Every month, look at your desired achievements for the year and go through the past month to follow up on what you did do that you planned to do, what are the tasks that you didn´t do and what did you do that helped reaching the goal that you didn´t plan. Now decide what activities you can do during the month to make sure that you are preceding to the set goal. Do the same for the weekly plan.
4. Things change
Change is development, in a direction you like or a direction that you do not like, but everything changes no matter if you´d like it or not. There are two ways to handle change, see it as an opportunity and adapt to it as fast as you can. This way you will be proactive and get a lot of advantages in life. The other way is to try to slow down the change process, which might work for a while, but when the change is happening you will be way behind the adaptor. Like everything else in life, it is your choice who you would like to be.
If you chose to be the adaptor, it is wise to periodically go through your life plan and your achievements so that they are in line with your life goals (which might change over time).
I am going to dedicate my day tomorrow to look into my desired achievements for the year to come. I am not sure yet how I will present them here, but somehow I will.
– Ola Rynge