Happy New Year!!
I’ll (try to) keep this short and sweet. It’s day 1 of the new year, and, if you’re like many humans, you plan to capitalize on the motivation provided by a fresh start. You’ve resolved to make changes, you’ve thought of some new goals, you cleaned out the snack cabinet and ate all the Christmas candy last night so it wouldn’t be tempting today. But, deep down inside you’re already frustrated with yourself because you honestly don’t believe this year will be any different.
That’s where the absolution comes in.
Absolution is a “formal release from guilt, obligation, or punishment”.
Shaming yourself about previously failed resolutions won’t motivate you to make real, lasting change. Punishing yourself (including verbally abusing yourself in your head) for unmet goals doesn’t increase the likelihood that you’ll meet this year’s goals.
Here’s what to do instead.
Write down your “F6” goals for the year.
Steven and I learned about F6 goals from our business coach. (Check out the ThriveTimeShow Business Podcast for Entrepreneurs)
Make your goals SMART.
I don’t remember where I first learned the acronym SMART for goal setting, but George T. Doran is credited with being the first to publish it. Some of the words can be different depending on who you read, and whether the acronym is being used for individual or organizational use. Here is the acronym as I use it for personal goals:
Specific – make your goal as specific as possible
Measurable – decide on a way to measure your progress
Attainable – make your goal something that relies on your actions, not the actions of others
Relevant – set goals relevant to your overall life mission and values
Time Based – set a start and end date for your goal, ask someone to hold you accountable
Go ahead and plan to fail.
I know that sounds terrible. I hated it the first time I was directed to plan to fail too.
But planning to fail has helped me practice forgiving myself instead of shaming myself more than anything else.
We aren’t perfect. We know this. So why not plan to fail, and plan to keep going anyway? Plan to forgive yourself ahead of time so you can plan to keep going. Shame paralyzes us. Forgiveness motivates us.
“Oh well, I’ll try again in an hour/at dinner/tomorrow/etc.” Is much better than “Oh well, I might as well give up. I suck at life. I’ll never be able to do this.”
What are your F6 goals?