Now that it’s January 2017, I can’t help but to provide my own thoughts for a new year. Over the last several weeks, I have read numerous posts and watched several videos with advice on how to prepare for the new year. Everyone had a slightly different take or strategy for this preparation. They included ways to reflect on the past year, how to plan for the upcoming year, how to make resolutions, how to create goals, recommendations to abolish resolutions or goals, or methods to identify one’s purpose. Despite all of varying opinions and advice, I noticed that there are three basic tenants interwoven into all of these posts. Whether you create goals, resolutions, or outcomes they should all be grounded in these three tenets, which are: have intent, know the why, and be realistic.

Have Intent

When planning for the new year, getting caught up in the ideal such as losing weight or earning more money is a common approach. However, by focusing on the ideal, it is really hard to create an environment for success. By creating a statement of intent, such as ‘I eat foods that are healthy and nourishing for my body’ or ‘I engage in daily activities that increase the number of people on my list’ shifts one away from the ideal to a grounded intention. By creating a statement in the present instead of in the future, it really focuses your intention and to follow through on that action.

Know The Why

This is an aspect of planning that many people overlook. Simon Sinek talks about know your why when it comes to building brand identity and customer loyalty. The concept is similar when creating goals or resolutions for the new year. Take some time and really understand why you want to do X (e.g. lose weight/eat healthy foods or earn more money/build your list). For example, in the case of weight loss, is your why to watch your grandchildren grow up or raise money for a charitable cause by running marathons? Again, stay away from the vague or superficial like to look great or fit into size 4 jeans.

Be Realistic

In practically every post I read or video I watched, the author talked about being realistic with your goals or resolutions. Being unrealistic just perpetuates one’s sense of failure or lack of purpose. Using earning more money as an example, identifying a specific amount of money you want to earn by a certain date is beneficial. Just make sure the amount of money you identified is achievable in the time period you allotted. If you are just starting out as an entrepreneur and you don’t have very many people on your list, setting a goal to earn a million dollars by April will be difficult to achieve.

In cutting through all of the do’s, don’t’s, and how to’s when it comes to setting goals or resolutions for the new year, remember the three basic tenants: have intent, know the why, and be realistic.

  • Create an intention statement that is grounded and in the present.
  • Be very clear on why you are setting a specific goal or resolution.
  • Make sure the goal or resolution can be achieved.

Sticking to these elements of goal-/resolution-making will ensure success for the new year.

In the comments below share with the community your successes in using these three aspects of goal/resolution setting.