It is that time of year when you create a list of resolutions on how you want work and live better. Generally, these are habits that you will try to do every day, or habits that you will try to avoid for as long as they can. Unfortunately, many of these resolutions are tossed away within a month or two. While the effort to adopt resolutions are for positive reasons, a better alternative is to develop new goals for the future. Goals are processed gradually rather than expecting to change immediately.
Rigid vs. Fluid
When your resolutions in life and career stay the same: “I will stop eating certain junk,” “I will write on our blog regularly, even though I don’t write at all now,” you cannot drive your business up the ladder of success. Habits coupled with flexibility provide you with a path to success. Success is fluid and so rigidity will stand in its way.
Goals, however, can be tackled in steps, beginning with small steps and increasing in difficulty as you become more accustomed to the change. This makes goals more realistic for lasting change. Focus on what’s most important. But don’t be too rigid, like balancing on a beam, you want to have agility and flexibility to cross and create room to have some fun!
Sense of Failure vs. Sense of Accomplishment
The usual dream has two things in common: it’s hard to do and the deadline is far away. So, naturally, we postpone it for as long as possible and then fail. That’s why you need to set milestones along the way. Those milestones should be measurable so you can easily and objectively say if you’ve done them. Instead of saying: “I’ll run 365 kilometers sometimes in 2019,” say “I’ll run one kilometer a day.” This resolution doesn’t allow you to think “I’ll start next week.” Once you’ve broken a rigid resolution, it’s easier to feel like a failure and give up.
But as entrepreneurs, we’re achievers! If you can’t be happy with who you are and can’t be satisfied with what you have accomplished, then this really is the ultimate failure. Setting goals verse setting one-time resolutions moves us from having that sense of accomplishments because if we stumble along the way, we still are moving forward to something better.
Keep Your Future in Mind
Think of what you would have in your ideal life, and where you’d like to be in a year, possibly two, five, or even 10 years. Create a big vision to inspire you and give you something meaningful to work towards. Next, break that down this vision into specific goals that you can achieve in 10 years, five years, two years and just one year. If you can keep in your mind this big vision of where you would ultimately like your goals to take you, it’s easier to stick with them.
Once you have your goals set, keep them in the forefront of your mind. Have them as part of your screen saver or written on post-it notes in prominent places around your office or work area at your coworking space for a while. Then, break them down into smaller goals, and think of what steps you need to take to reach these goals. Then, and this is key, create habits that can lead you to your goals.
Think of what specific habits you can maintain that will make bigger changes in your life if you maintain them and embed them into your schedule in the easiest ways you can think to maintain them. For example, if you’d like to be more fit, commit to exercising for a reasonable amount of time. Learn more about how our friend and fitness instructor, Sara Kovačević, created habits that changed her life personally and professionally at our first Užina i Učenje on Thursday, January 31, 2019.
IN THE END, REWARD YOURSELF
Finally, reward yourself with something small for continuing to stick with it, until you make enough progress toward your goals that the progress becomes its own reward. Remember that change doesn’t come overnight, but as you work toward developing what is important to you, the change will come, and it will be lasting. Remember this, and enjoy building the life you were meant to live.