January is the time we set personal improvement goals – a.k.a. New Year’s Resolutions. We also set business goals designed to drive production and profit.
Yet by Super Bowl Sunday, it is estimated that 80% of us have already fallen off the resolution bandwagon. According to University of Scranton research, less than 8% of us actually do what we resolve to do at the start of each year. On top of that, many of us haven’t even started working on our goals. 20% of Americans, when surveyed about goal completion, could be considered chronic procrastinators. And when it comes to procrastination, even our happiness is at risk. Research reveals that 94% of the population feels that goal procrastination negatively impacts their happiness.
What is the secret of goal achievement?
Emotions have a way of hijacking your behavior and hence – hijacking completion of goals. Which is why you need to be aware of your emotions. Without the awareness of your emotional triggers, you cannot manage your behavior in a thoughtful and productive manner.
Below are secrets to emotional intelligent goal achievement:
- Take time to set SMARRT goals. Without the left-brain logic of a well thought out goal, you are setting yourself up for failure.
S – Specific – yet keep it simple and specific. Think JFK: “Put a Man on the moon by the end of the decade.”
M – Measurable – how can you measure progress? Think Weight Watchers: counting points is an easy strategy to implement versus calorie calculation.
A – Achievable – can it be done? Consider your personal strengths and lessons learned from past success and failures to access achievability.
R – Relevant – is it really going to move you closer to achieving your dreams? Goals, when completed, will transform your situation. Projects and task just maintain the status quo.
R – Rewarding – what is motivating you?Intrinsic rewards (comes from within, can be tangible or a feeling) and/or extrinsic rewards (someone else provides the reward).
T – Timebound – is the end date doable? Think stretch so there is some sense of urgency, not too far out so procrastination is tempting.
- Prepare for conflict. One thing is for certain, there will be conflict when you begin to make changes to your daily routines. Think about the impact new habit changes will have not only yourself but on others. For example, family members may not embrace the changes in your new diet or exercise routine. Plan to discuss the changes before implementation and negotiate a win/win for all involved. Success hinges on discussion and negotiations to create a way forward that is respectful of all.
- Map out fears and address them head-on. Too many times hidden fears sabotage goal achievement. This might be the biggest cause of procrastination. Calculate the likelihood of the fears taking place and develop actions that could reduce the probability of your biggest fears actually happening. Document the cost of inaction as well as the benefits of action. Chances are the benefits will motivate you to gain momentum in goal attainment far past Super Bowl Sunday.
- Cheer for YOU. Make sure your self-talk falls in the 3 to 1 positivity ratio. Research confirms that for every four comments and thoughts made to yourself, at least three need to be positive and encouraging if you want to be successful. The self-critical judgment that uses others as a measuring stick will not provide you with the internal positive encouragement necessary to achieve your goals.
Brilliance requires setting goals. Setting goals means being emotionally intelligent. The use of these secrets will surely move you into the top 5% of brilliance performance!
Here’s to a Brilliant You in 2019!