Ever wonder why most goals and New Year's resolutions fall apart in the first three weeks? It's not about willpower. It's not because "life got in the way." It's actually because vague goals lead to vague actions, which leads to—you guessed it—vague results!
Whether it's my clients, patients, students, or friends, I hear the same story time and time again: We all want change, but we don't know how to go about it. Most goal-seekers fall into two camps:
The first are those who are so excited at the onset that they have unrealistic expectations of what they can achieve. Despite their research and planning, they quickly burn out. Those in this category tend to be type-A overachievers, whose work style is characterized by bingeing and purging. In other words, they cycle between overworking and not taking action at all.
The second group is those that have some idea of what they want but no action plan to get there. They are the dreamers, wishers, and intention-setters. They set goals like, "I want to create more work-life balance." And while that sounds nice, it isn't clear what actions they need to take or even how they'll know when they've achieved their goal. As well-meaning as these individuals are, their lack of strategy and accountability keeps them safe from risking failure but also keeps them stuck.
Ironically, no matter which challenge you face, the solution is the same: You need to set better goals—ones that support and motivate you. And you need to outline a realistic and actionable plan that sets you up for success. We've all heard of SMART goals (the acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound), but chances are that if you're seeking change or setting goals, they aren't hitting each point.