Yes I mean 2017 goals, not just goals for the year 2017. You see, the most common personal goals tend to cover the areas of career, health, relationships, finance and mindfulness. These combine to create smaller decisions and goals every day. It turns into thousands quickly.
From those category areas are the specific goals you create for example “ By end of 2017 I will be able to run and play outside, having fun with my family for 30 minutes without being too exhausted and needing to upload a selfie on my Facebook account”. – Now that is a great goal. Let’s break it down.
First we placed a specific goal end date deadline. – Boom great success for clarity.
Then we have combined several category areas such as;
3) Fun with family= Quality time
4) 30minutes= Health endurance
5) No selfie= Mindfulness
6) Avoiding a need for social media= Discipline and habits.
So the goal provided a vision stated end point. The challenge is then how to break that down into the smaller steps to make it become a reality. To do this, there will be many specific steps to make. To provide an example see my below listed 2017 goals that you can apply as an example.
Building A Goal Tally
Most people start the year with a weight loss challenge or ambition. One of the biggest contributors to people’s weight is what and how much they eat. So, here you have to make choices.
365 days of the year x 4 meals (breakfast, lunch, snack, evening meal) = 1460 goals. Each meal decision becomes a goal achievement or a goal delay.
Annual Goal Tally 1460
Negative habits need to be worked on. There are many promises and cases that vary for change within 7 days to hundreds of days. The science studies show that habits are formed over person specific periods of time. This varies considerably so instead of looking at days, let us consider incidents of habit exposure. Let us say once every 2 days you did not perform your bad habit. Well, this will have an effect over a year; indeed the bad habit would have reduced by 182 times. Now, let us take a different approach. Let us challenge the next 182 times you face that habit. You have a choice and decision to make. This becomes your goal for the next 182 trigger points of your habit.
Annual Goal Tally increased by 182 to 1642
More exercise is often listed as an important personal ambition. So instead of “go to the gym every week”, set yourself a goal to perform a minimum of 60 minutes exercise 104 times over the next 12 months. That works out to twice a week. This allows for time where you may go to the gym a few times in the week and others when you failed to attend due to travel or illness. The overall goal remains.
Annual Goal Tally increased by 104 to 1746
Stretching, balancing and coordination skills are important to provide a wider mix, recovery and aid to your core exercise regime. Commit to 30 minutes once a week for juggling, tai chi, light yoga, stretching, and slack lining.
Annual Goal Tally increased by 52 to 1798
Another common goal people create is learning something new. So, let us follow the format developed so far and commit to twice a week spending at least 30 minutes on that new skill or interest.
Annual Goal Tally increased by 104 to 1902
Career aspirations and ambitions have a way of slipping away for many people. A frequent fear I see in many people is a lack of willingness to apply for work they may not be promoted or recruited for. This is dealing with the fear of success and failure. To help overcome that challenge, commit once a week to developing your career position. This can be any significant step for example: Update your LinkedIn profile, follow on LinkedIn and Twitter the top 10 companies that represent your field of ambition. Sending connection requests to though leaders and reading their material, starting your own blog on the career area you seek, learning once a week a new skill or update old skills, applying for positions.
Annual Goal Tally increased by 52 to 1954
Especially at times of the New Year, many people will make a promise to drink more sensibly. They will then be good during January have a nice evening at some point during February and use that single slippage to slip back to old habits for the rest of the year.
Instead of falling into this repetitive cycle, take a slightly deeper review of behavior. Your decision is based on several or maybe many big drunken nights out. So, do not forget the times you have had a great night out but drank less due to driving responsibilities, an important meeting, and appointment the following day. Improve your decisions by simply once a month.
Make a single monthly decision to reduce your drinking consumption and use other goals as motivators to help for instance, plan an exercise event or another special activity for the following day.
Annual Goal Tally increased by 12 to 1966
Increasing family time is often high on the list of priorities for many people. When asked deeper it is often improved quality time rather than the frequency of time to meet up that matters the most.
So, to help this easy step I suggest the following: Once a month write a letter, make a call, travel and visit, invite over to someone within the family that means a lot to you and you wish to improve the relationship and connection. This cements bonds and even a gesture that is not fulfilled with a specific visit is often still appreciated from its gesture and intent.
Seek to combine events where possible, so a shopping trip can also become a family member meet up or a sports event or concert can become an occasion to bond.
Annual Goal Tally increased by 12 to 1978
The above scenario also applies to relationships. However adding in a date night or placing dates in the diary ensures a higher probability things become better. Note: The intent is to improve and not set fast once a month deadlines. It is fine to spend a long weekend together and for the purpose of this annual goal tally count that as Friday, Saturday + Sunday as 3 scores.
Annual Goal Tally increased by 12 to 1990
Life to be enjoyed for each person. Some like to be social and others prefer solace. We all seem to enjoy being pampered in one way or another.
So, set aside 7 occasions per annum for self-pampering. This can be combined with some of the other goals and actions you have set. So, if you like mountain biking for exercise then spend a fully day doing that and attaining new skills on a special course. A common experience is a yoga retreat or wellness weekend.
Here are some personal examples of my prior year’s choices I have made on this area:
1) A week skydiving in Spain
2) A weekend skydiving in Germany
3) Attending a motorbike race circuit for a full weekend
4) Going to Prague to see a band and spending time with a close friend
5) Flying to the UK for 7 days to see a band play on tour
Annual Goal Tally increased by 7 to 1997
Charity and volunteering is a much voiced goal. The reality is in today’s modern society that few end up following on this desired promise and feel guilty again at the end of the year. In addition this means some people compensate their feelings of guilt in time provided by over committing financially to causes throughout the year. If you can commit and do commit your time then great. For the majority of people that struggle here is a compromise idea to help your goal.
Once every 2 months or a total of 6 occasions throughout the year, provide some dedicated time to a cause or charity. This can be anything from visiting an old age pensioners home, baking a cake for a local fate to help cleaning the streets you live on, campaigning at your nation’s capital, writing a letter to your political representative or going out and directly engaging in support.
Annual Goal Tally increased by 6 to 2003
How do you want to live life to the fullest? If you now already have all these planned dates in your diary will you risk becoming stale and feeling too programmed in your life?
Then add 6 occasions in the year to allow you some pure spontaneous action. That can be waking up early and going for a long picnic drive, booking a holiday at the last second, surprising a friend or loved one with a gift. Do it and feel the energy it provides.
Annual Goal Tally increased by 6 to 2009
Reviewing your goals and progress is important. This is the time to reflect on what is hard, needy of support and what you find easy to achieve. This time helps to plan ahead, fine tune your tactics and strategy and adjust to levels of expectation. I propose once you set your goals to review them every 90 days. It is important to not ignore them in-between time. The 90 day period provides the strategic and actionable timeline to make an impact and change.
Annual Goal Tally increased by 4 to 2013
Finances influence our decisions and options. So, how often do you make decisions based on their inputs and outputs? Too often people are so busy living within daily life patterns looking to survive they miss some opportunities to create stability and opportunity with finances.
I like to set time aside every year to review spending and savings. I treat these differently and do not cloud or combine the two. These reviews are done twice a year for each area.
On the spending side, I review and consider better value purchase decisions. I look at the small spends, medium spend values and large expenditures. So for example decisions to save on your apartment rental or not buy coffee from Starbucks may release money to be spent elsewhere or converted into your savings.
Annual Goal Tally increased by 4 to 2017
So that was it! 2017 goals during the year 2017. These cover the most common and popular goals in personal improvement.
Number of Goals Throughout 12 months
When broken down into these areas it is easier to identify the risks and reasons for success and failure in the key areas of life. For instance, it is easier to create plans and decisions on finances using 4 occasions in the than to work on what and how you eat each day, which equates to 1460 decisions. This is also before anyone offers you a cake or a stick of candy in between meals.
Understand HAM to fight your Hamburger
The most common reasons for failure in personal goals surround the categories of habits, accountability, metrics (how performance is measured and responses to these measures). HAM.
Consider that for weight, you have made 365 goal decisions every 90 days! That is the same number as days in the year. No wonder people lose weight, put on weight and lose weight again over the year. So, recognize and plan for the on going decisions you need to make.
Design out bad choices, simply by not driving past a MacDonalds on the way home may increase your commute to work by an extra mile but save you 30 miles of running to burn off the calories you would have consumed anyway.
So what decisions will you make to reduce the risk and exposure of habitual triggers? How and what system will you put in place to hold yourself accountable? Understand that cheating metrics is cheating yourself, measure honestly and do not just record your performance. Learn from the results to identify trends, behaviors and adjust to improve.
If your success rate with meal choices is 90% then understand the impact. This means 146 meal choices throughout a year. That is 36 days worth. You can then create accountability around that situation by increasing your training or adjusting even further some of the good meal choices you make.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a nutrianist so please consult your doctor and qualified expert on a system to work best for you.
Living with decisions.
When you break down simple goals into daily behaviors it opens new insights and planning opportunities. This has been the purpose of my article.
Your ideal number of choices through the year may be far greater or less than I have expressed here with 2017. However do break down your goals you set into small tactical steps to provide powerful and meaningful results and feedback decisions.
Understand the consequences of small regular or planned activities can produce significant improvements for ourselves and the people we meet in life.
When failure become success
The way you think of failure will be different than someone else. There are clear exceptions to this comment, as if a pass grade of C is not attained a D, E or F is a failure. However for goals a person will sometimes give up a diet based on a weekend of binge eating. A person may think they cannot become healthy due to their recent injury.
The question and perception and decisions need to go be explored and actioned for success. For the person that went through a binge eating weekend, they can redeem themselves by exercising more frequently and hold themselves accountable to future risks of repeat behavior.
Indeed the person whom gained an injury may never run again, but this should not stop the athlete from exploring other sports that will accommodate the sustained injury and still keep them on a path of health and competitive spirit.
What are your goals, targets and ambitions for 2017?
What systems do you use to manage each element of HAM?
How do you define failure and success for personal goals?
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