Resolutions, hooray! Oh crap! (Part 5.0)

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2019! Are you still there? How are your resolutions going? You didn’t give up already, did you?

When approaching our resolutions, goal planning, life mapping (even business planning, research and writing articles) you may find it helpful to approach it in a two step process of Review & Reflect (start simple) and then expand it into multiple steps of Review, Refine & Reflect. Yep! Multiple steps. 

Remember, gradually and then suddenly! Don’t fall for the illusion of instant success. If you want resolutions and goals to work you must keep it simple and allow the time (patience) for your resolutions and goals to manifest.

What makes this an even more powerful and fulfilling process is knowing that you must revise, and update, your resolutions and goals throughout the year and your life to truly meet with success. 

All of the detail that we pour into a good resolution or goal is typically the culprit of analysis paralysis leaving us stuck. Admittedly this is very overwhelming and tedious, but also critical to success.

Mix in a little bit of fear of failure which initially prevents many people from even completing a list of resolutions or goals makes this an intimidating process and most quit before they begin or just a few days into it. Remember, sixty-six days to start a new habit!

Back to keeping it simple; goal setting can be as basic as Reviewing & Reflecting. But, to ultimately be successful it must be done over and over again until the goals are truly yours and are attainable. It will become a process that you complete with much less angst and struggle, eventually finding it quite enjoyable.

Upon opening your annual Goal Planning/Life Mapping worksheet here is a process that just might work for you (this process can be used for writing, research, and more):

  1. Review #1— Read the worksheet in its entirety or in parts all depending on the worksheet and your focus in that moment.
    1. Brain-storm — After finished reviewing the worksheet, or while reviewing it, write down your initial thoughts, ideas, goals. This is the non-thinking process, allowing your thoughts to flow unhindered. 
        • Brainstorming can be a productive process to “produce ideas and ways of solving problems” and “generate new ideas and solutions.” But, it can end up being ineffectual and “a moment in which one is suddenly unable to think clearly or act sensibly” or “a state of temporary insanity.”  Be careful!
    1. This is the “What?” part of resolution and goal setting. Not much is captured about the “Why?” or the “How?” of making resolutions or setting goals. 
        • Note: If thoughts about the “Why?” or “How?” come to mind during this stage, don’t let them go. Make sure you capture them.
  1. Reflect (walk away) #1 — To avoid forcing the process and writing down resolutions or goals because you are ‘supposed to’ just walk away. Walking away allows you to think about, reflect on, the worksheet in an environment that does not create pressure to complete it. You might go for a run, go to the gym, go to the store, even do the laundry or work on a different project or task.
  2. Review #2 — After you are done with your initial reflection, come back to review the worksheet once again.
    1. Brain-shower — Review the worksheet and refine your initial thoughts, ideas and goals. You can even capture new ones. 
        • Note: This is not as intense as a brain-storm nor as insane. This promotes clearer thinking. You will become more focused and think creatively about the “Why?” and “How?”
  1. Reflect (walk away) #2 — Once again, you may find it beneficial to walk away to allow time to clear your mind and reflect on the work you just completed. 
        • Note: If this seems overwhelming and tedious, it should. The good news? After going through this process a number of times you will find it to be a fairly easy and enjoyable process. Remember, gradually and then suddenly!
        • Note: You may find it just as effective to stay where you are and reflect. Walking away is a metaphor for taking a break.
  1. Review #3 — After your second Review & Reflect phase you will come back to review the worksheet for the third time.
    1. Brain-clearing — Now it is time to get into the “Why?” and the “How?” of resolution and goal planning. Answering the “Why?” of resolution and goal planning is fairly straight forward and relatively easy. During this phase your resolutions and goals will become clearer.
        • Note: Asking “Why?” is a great exercise because we may discover that a resolution or goal that we previously decided upon is in fact one we truly do not want to pursue. This is when your resolutions and goals become real and you will find yourself taking ownership of them.
        • Note: Capturing the “How?” will be an entirely different experience and could prove to be the most tedious.
    1. Refine your resolutions and goals, organize your thoughts and clean up any clutter.
  1. Reflect (walk away) #3 — Yes, once again, walk away and reflect on your “Why?” and “How?”

Okay! Had enough? Well, I have and I need to walk away for a moment to reflect. Take this time to reflect on what we went through the past few days. 

In the next segment we will cover another critical aspect to making your resolutions and goal planning successful. But, before you go…

      • Repeat this process as many times as necessary to get you out of the gates. At that point you will be able to Refine your resolutions and goals each time you Review them.
      • Remember…
        • Start simple to avoid analysis paralysis. 
          • Review, Refine & Reflect
          • What? Why? & How?
              • You owe it to yourself to Review, Refine & Reflect throughout the year as often as possible.
        • Gradually and then suddenly. 
        • Sixty-six days to begin a new habit.
        • On the other side of a “No” is a “Yes.”
        • Failure is an ancestor of success.