by Dave Ramsey (Published with permission in the December 2015 newsletter)
As a busy entrepreneur, you may feel things like resolutions are a waste of time. I mean, why bother? Statistics show that about 35 percent of all resolutions are broken before the end of January. An article in Forbes magazine indicated that only eight percent of those making resolutions stick to them and make them a reality.
We don’t mess with resolutions around my office. We set goals, both in our professional and private lives. I’m not talking about daydreaming or hoping and wishing for good things to happen. I mean serious forethought and putting pen to paper. Keep in mind, too, that goals should be specific, measurable and time sensitive. This is a vital part of the process, because the key to realizing your goals is avoiding a set-it-and-forget-it mentality.
Focused intensity and honesty
Trying to address several different issues at once is not just overwhelming, it’s self-defeating. Work on one goal at a time. Bring all your ideas and energy to the table, and you’ll be surprised at how quickly you can overcome bad habits or solve problems.
Once you reach a single goal, you’ll be motivated to take on new and greater challenges.
The Wheel of Life
Sometimes we all get caught up in the day-to-day aspects of life and business. But as uncomfortable as it may feel in the beginning, you must look toward the future to get a handle on the big picture.
Study the late Zig Ziglar’s Wheel of Life. It covers seven areas of improvement, including family, career, financial, social, intellectual, physical and spiritual. Spend time thinking about each as it pertains to your life. Then, reflect back on the past year and envision the next five to 10 years. It might blow your mind to think what your life could look like if you grew just a little in all these areas!
Plan to maintain
Spend some time now thinking about how you’ll maintain focus throughout the year. You might choose to revisit your goals weekly or monthly to evaluate your progress. If interpersonal accountability is more your thing, you can pair up with a friend or coworker who is intent on reaching their own personal goals.
You might even consider reducing your goal, or at least the essence of it, to one simple word you keep on display in a prominent location. Then, when there are decisions to be made or problems arise in that area, refer to that word and let it guide your actions.
Author Paul Tripp once wrote, “Every day we lay little bricks on the foundation of what our life will be. The bricks of words said, the bricks of actions taken, the bricks of little decisions, the bricks of little thoughts and the bricks of small-moment desires.”
As time passes, it’s the layers we add — if done with thoughtfulness, intention and determination — that will create a version of ourselves, our work and our lives that would be unattainable otherwise!