Every January, year after year, Americans tend to set the same goals and resolutions:
* Lose weight.
* Make more money.
* Get organized.
I don’t know about you, but I find those incredibly boring to hear, let alone journey toward!
Which is also why, year after year, so many don’t achieve their goals. Most of us won’t jump out of bed each morning on a quest to accomplish something vague, mundane, ‘should’-based, or meaningless. It’s a recipe for disaster – or at least not for purposeful achievement.
So if you want to know how to set the most boring goals ever, there you go.
If, however, you want this to be your most positive, purposeful year yet – one marked by meaningful actions, difference-making pursuits, and goals that do make you jump out of bed in the morning (even on cold, dark, winter days!) – here are 5 ways to spice them up:
1. Start outlandishly.
“Last year,” says the owner of XYZ Business, “revenue was $250,000 – so this year, my goal is to increase that by 10%.” This is a common, but boring, goal setting strategy.
Start instead by dreaming of the ideal. What would it look like to lead a million-dollar business? To donate a six-figure check to the charity that speaks to your heart? To innovate so well that your favorite magazine runs a cover story about your organization? Imagine what could be, connect it to your purpose, then set your goals from that space. You can then tweak to make them stretching-but-realistic (though it’s fun to have one or two ‘impossible’ dreams in the mix, too – especially if you have support lined up).
2. Hang out with inspiration.
As goal contagion theory posits, goals are essentially contagious: If you meet weekly with a mastermind group where members are excited about setting, reaching, and discussing their goals, for example, you likely will become so, too. It’s one of the reasons ASPIRE Success Club members experience such extraordinary growth in a year’s time.
Set your goals in the presence of other inspiring people (watch for info on my Feb. 1 Bold Goal training session for a chance to do just this!). Meet for regular updates and mini-celebrations. Hold one another accountable. Feed your inspiration and inspire others along the way.
3. Make your goals your own.
One reason I find the aforementioned goals so boring is their lack of originality. When you set the same goal as everyone else, especially out of a sense of ‘should,’ you will likely have to search far and wide for any trace of motivation after the first couple of weeks.
Sometimes, we may be assigned a goal – from a supervisor or physician, for example. Even in those instances, we need to connect the goal to our own purpose and clearly understand why it’s important and how we can grow, help others, improve the organization, and/or change the world with it. Not only will this inspire positive action, it will likely keep motivation around much, much longer.
4. Engage your opposite nature.
Did you ever see the Seinfeld episode where George Costanza was having such bad luck he decided to do everything the opposite of what he would normally do – resulting in exceptional wins? While I wouldn’t go quite that far, I do suggest shaking things up a bit.
Even the best systems and strategies only tend to work for a period of time before we need to tweak, overhaul, or start anew. Have you always pursued your goals alone? Join a group or hire a coach. Have you always broken your goals down into teeny-tiny steps, only to toss the whole plan out the window as soon as something unexpected occurs? Try laying out only the first three steps for now. For different results, take different actions.
5. Play with the wording.
This may seem so basic and, to some, even a questionable use of time – but I guarantee it matters. I open my planner and review my goals first thing every morning when I arrive to the office. If I saw “Get organized” looking back at me, I would likely a) wonder where to start and b) push it aside until ‘someday’ when I had more time.
But if I saw, “I am so happy and grateful that I easily find everything I need to help my clients and my business flourish,” I would want to take action to make that happen – especially if my weekly sub-goal appears right next to it. Use rich, meaningful words that speak to your desired feelings, values, and purpose. You can turn a boring goal into a meaningful, energizing one by simply changing the words you use!
So many of you shared your goals with me during last month’s book giveaway (congratulations also to Ronda C, who won the book!), so I feel 100% confident this will be an incredible year of purposeful achievement! Feel free to let us know what exciting things you’re up to on Instagram or Facebook – you’ll inspire us all!