Every year most of us come up with a list of resolutions to accomplish during the new year. I did some research and found several surveys that list the top ten resolutions that folks choose. I took the liberty of compiling my own list based on several lists I found. These appear to be the most important changes on our minds:
1. Lose Weight
2. Get Organized
3. Reduce Debt and Start Saving
4. Enjoy Life to the Fullest
5. Staying Fit and Healthy
6. Learn Something New and Exciting
7. Quit Smoking
8. Help Others Achieve Their Dreams
9. Quit Drinking
10. Spend More Time with Family
Did you create a list of your own? If not, is it because you don't believe in resolutions? Regardless, do you think it is important to write down desired results (goals) and list a few ways to achieve them? I believe this is the key to succeeding at what you want to accomplish.
I use OKR's (Objectives and Key Results) which I believe were invented by Andy Grove (the CEO of Intel) and then successfully implemented by Google. Essentially, you create an OKR by naming a goal or objective that you want to achieve within a measurable period of time (I like quarterly - every three months - because this gives you enough time to tackle some pretty tough objectives). Once you know the objective part of your OKR you will list three or four key results that you need to do in order to complete the listed objective. Easy enough? In a nutshell, you write down your goals with a couple of things you need to do to achieve it. Then, you give your self a deadline and start immediately working on your goal. On a daily basis I like to look at all of my OKR's and make sure I am not only staying focused, but also staying on course. If I find myself drifting from the original objective, I can re-evaluate, or simply adjust my course and fix it.
In the hopes that you too write down your goals, I'm going to use this article to hypothesize how you could successfully do each and every one of the above listed goals. This is not the end-all-be-all, but it is a start ... And, you need to come up with your own process that works!
This goal is one of the most popular goals in the world. And, yet it is a bit vague and unrealistic if you ask me. Lose weight? Seriously? I mean, technically, you could lose weight by losing some of your built muscle and converting it to fat (muscle weighs more than fat). I'm sure that is not what folks mean when they say "lose weight." I think that most of us mean burning fat and trimming our waistline; which will give us healthy bodies as a by product. So, when you list resolutions, make sure you list them correctly. Now that you know it isn't simply about losing weight, it is much easier. Burning fat is simple! Drink 90+ ounces of water each day, exercise for 45-60 minutes with a steady heart rate at 60-80% of your maximum predicted heart rate, and eat healthy foods. There you have it. It ain't rocket science, and yet more than 65% of Americans are overweight.
This one has "stop procrastinating" written all over it. What do I mean? Think about it ... If you weren't piling papers and other shit on a daily basis you wouldn't need to get organized in the first place. When you get the mail, do you sift through and find the goodies and leave the remains on the counter or in some basket to go through later? Seriously ... It takes three minutes top to open every single envelope, sort out what you need, and trash the rest. Don't pile this stuff up, go through it and resolve what you can. Mail is only beginning, but you get my point. This goal is easily achieved by working on the spot. Stop piling clothes on the stairs or ironing board and freaking move your lazy ass now. Going up and down the stairs once or twice extra per day is not going to kill you. As a matter-of-fact, this exercise can actually be beneficial to the previous goal!
Reduce Debt and Start Saving
This is a perfect example of "do as I say, not as I do." This is one of my many weaknesses. However, I have done a ton of research. Instead of breaking this one down, I will refer you to a recent article I wrote on this subject. For more info, go here.
Enjoy Life to the Fullest
You can steal a move out of my playbook for this one. When I was nineteen my family doctor told me that I had fewer than two years to live. Since then, I have learned to appreciate life a lot more than prior to that news. I'm not suggesting you go out and get a life-threatening illness ... No, no, no ... Rather you pretend. Use your imagination and think about something like that happening to you. What if someone did tell you that you would die in two months. Would you lead your life differently? You're damned right you would! Why? Because that is human nature. Well, what's stopping you? TODAY! Grab your life by the short hairs and lead it, instead of letting life lead you.
Staying Fit and Healthy
I'm always posting up #Fit4LifeTraining and many of you are familiar with this little hashtag I created. Read into it and you will see a fairly cool philosophy. It is my life goal to get and stay fit for life. This is no easy task, but doable none-the-less. This is similar to the first goal, and yet different. I prefer this one over the first one. You see, the first one is cool, and then most of us lose track and end up gaining that fat back (yo-yo dieting). While I believe this is better than doing nothing, I think a better approach is to get fit and stay fit ... FOREVER.
One of my secrets in this category is having one, two, three, or more events each-and-every year. I sign up for bike rides, runs, and triathlons at the beginning of the season. This helps me to stay in touch with my fitness level and sort of forces my hand.
Another thing that I love is using my peers. I keep an online workout journal on my forum. I started this journal more than five years ago and have listed EVERY SINGLE workout over that period. You can see it here. I know that I'm not the only one who can see/read about my workouts, so this keeps me working hard. I also bounce ideas off my friends and they help keep me going when I don't feel like it. Try using a support system for this goal and you will find yourself making gains you never thought possible!
Learn Something New and Exciting
Love this one! To me, Kaizen (constant learning) embodies this. Also, I love Tony Robbins' acronym CANI; which stands for Constant And Never-ending Improvement. I believe that knowledge and learning is one of the most important things we can do during our lives. Spend time each day learning about something new!
Lots of folks struggle with this one. And many of them quit dozens of times throughout their lives. I watched my dad die of extensive stage small-cell lung carcinoma (lung cancer); which came from a lifetime of smoking cigarettes. Let me tell you that if you had witnessed this slow painful death you wouldn't question whether you should quit smoking or not. If it isn't enough seeing how unpopular and uncool cigs are these days, do yourself a favor and start looking at images of people dying from lung cancer. It is about as brutal as you can imagine. Do us all a favor and stop! Like everything else, this ain't rocket science. Are you going to let life lead you, or are you going to lead your life? I choose to lead my life.
Help Others Achieve Their Dreams
This one is noble. I dig it ... It isn't easy helping others. First off, you need to know how to and what to help with. However, one thing you can do is spread the word. What I mean is, start a blog or speaking and start spreading the word about things you've learned. I'm doing it right here. My blog is a personal avenue to help inspire and motivate others. Also, open your door and let folks know that you are willing to be a mentor. You'll be surprised at how many people will take you up on this. Mentoring is one of the most rewarding things you can do.
Caveat: It is your responsibility to be honest and sincere when helping others. Help in a positive fashion, or do not help.
hmmm ... This is another tough to tackle one. I for one do not think that one or two drinks in a day are bad. Actually, I think it can be beneficial sometimes. But, I do understand that many of us have a problem and cannot stop at two. If that is you, than maybe quitting is a good solution. As far as how to quit, this one is kind of simple too. Just don't drink! But, that is often easier said than done. Perhaps you can start by avoiding situations where you drink. If you are trying to quit, it might not make sense to travel to a happy hour with your friends. After you have securely stopped drinking and have a few weeks of sobriety under your belt, it might be okay to head back out to the happy hours. However, if you struggle with this one, it might be good to join a support group like Alcohol Anonymous (AA). These groups can help you in ways that you would never be able to do by yourself. It is not weakness to ask for support and help.
Spend More Time with Family
This is a very good one. And, I need to improve in this area! When most of us write this goal I do not think we mean sitting on the couch watching TV shows or worse: keeping up with the Facebook. No this one is really about QUALITY time with the fam. There are tons of ways to gain a little time in your day. Utilize one of these time saving methods and make a promise to spend some good quality time hanging out with your family.
That's all I have for now. I expect some of you to work on your resolutions and actually follow through with some in 2013!
Please comment, and tell me what resolutions you made for yourself in 2013.
Love you all,