Although I was able to accomplish most of the goals I set for myself in 2016, I was not able to accomplish all of them. This is not because I was lazy (although, I must confess, I am sometimes), but because I did not have the systems in place to accomplish the goals. In the past I have used tools like: S.M.A.R.T goal setting; visualizing my success (I made a vision board as well); setting daily intentions. But not all of these worked. I have done some research about new ways to make sure we can successfully set and achieve goals.
So how do we make sure 2017 is different and avoid the same goals/ resolutions from creeping into our 2018 New Year’s Resolutions list?
I learnt this concept from Seth Godin. He actually made a book regarding this that can be found on Amazon. The idea behind Pick Four is to pick four major goals and work on these goals every single day for 12 weeks straight (i.e. 3 months). At the end of each day you record what you’ve done to accomplish each goal. And on the days when you don’t do anything, you write “NOTHING” in your journal. After writing NOTHING in your journal a few times, you will either feel shitty about not doing anything or realize the goal is not that important to you, and change your mind about achieving the goal at all!
The idea of ‘Pick Four’ shows that setting effective goals is based on 3 things: small steps, consistent effort and group support.
One of my most important goals in the New Year is to grow this blog, and I have broken the goal down into tasks that can be achieved in 12 weeks. I have also dedicated a journal to this, where I write down what I have done for the blog and also what I expect to happen as a result of my actions. (In general, when journalling, I write down what I expect to happen and wait to be surprised – comment below if you would like to see a separate post about journalling).
I find that most goals work best when I don’t try to overhaul many aspects of my life at the same time, because I usually just abandon everything altogether and revert to my old habits. Instead, I focus on a few goals, and make small consistent steps to accomplish the goals. I look forward to applying the idea of ‘Pick Four’ to my goals for 2017!
I learnt the idea of “Fear Setting” from Tim Ferriss (whose podcast you simply must listen to!) . Many of us do not do the things we know we should do to accomplish our goals simply because of fear. The fear of failure, the fear of change and so on. But if we actually challenge the fearful beliefs we have, we realize that they are founded on nothing. To confront our fears, we need to drag them out in the open and face them square on. Tim Ferriss developed a simple three-step process called fear-setting to get past doubt that was holding him back, and you can also use this process to help you:
All you need to do is think of a goal that is important to you but you’ve kept yourself from attempting/ you’ve kept on the back-burner. Next you get a piece of paper and divide it into into three columns.
Column #1: Write down all that you fear could go wrong/ all the worst things that could happen if you fail. Try not to leave out any details.
Column #2: Think about and write down what you could do to mitigate the possibility of each of those bad consequences from happening.
Column #3: Think about and write down what you could do to recover from the scenarios in the first column. In other words, what you could do to get back to where you are now if anything wrong happens.
I have done this exercise only once when thinking of continuing with this blog. Unfortunately I can’t find the piece of paper I did this exercise on (that’s one of my resolutions for the new year; to be more organized!) But what I came away with this is that I had only 2 potential setbacks compared to a very long list of results that could potentially make me happy. I found out that I was extremely anxious about something that I should not have been anxious about in the first place, because it just was not that big of a deal!
Doing this fear-setting exercise will help you take the emergency brake off so you can do what you want and go after the dreams you’ve been putting off!
I have no doubt that combining these 2 new concepts of “fear setting” and “pick four” with other tips I have used in the past will set me up for success in 2017.