Make 2014 your best year yet!


It is again that time of the year when we are at the crossroads : as we reflect on the important areas in life, we are also looking at new beginnings in some important areas, new directions to move in, new paths to tread and new destinations to reach.

It is said that "Success breeds sucess". So even before you start the process of setting some Exciting goals for yourself to make 2014 Your Best Year Yet, you might want to reflect on the goals you did achieve in 2013 and the progress you have made in the areas of your life that you value. Take a few minutes to really focus on what you have achieved in the year 2013 : the skills you have learned, the results you have gotten, some moments you treasure and anything else that you value...

Make some time for yourself and write down your achievements. Do this exercise purposefully.

I am expecting that you are positively beaming at this point, having done the above exercise :) Well, if you haven't yet done it, stop, do the exercise and then read on further :D

To make 2014 Your Best Year Yet, be ready and excited to stretch your comfort zone well beyond what it was: dream big and set your standards higher than ever before. Because we all have Dreams and Goals we want to realize and achieve. Also, we have all had the experience of achieving what we set out to achieve and also have had the experience of just wishing, hoping and desiring. You might be curious as to 'What is the 'difference' or 'the factor' that makes the difference between making a non-committal momentary wish and setting a fulfilling achievable goal?' and ' How can you set Goals that are so compelling that you are absolutely Driven to achieve them?'

I would like to assist you on this quest by outlining the process by which you can refine your goals to set and accomplish goals that are worthwhile and compelling by their very nature and in line with your overall well-being.

I will outline the process as i share my example of applying it to my goal of 'developing a daily exercise routine'

  1. Is the outcome stated in the Positive? (Want v/s don't want)

    If you have have stated your goal in terms of what you don't want, change it to something that you do want.

    "I want to be able to exercise for 1 hour everyday" instead of "I shouldn't be lazy/ unhealthy/ unfit".

  2. Is it Achievable?

    Ask if the outcome humanly achievable? Has anyone already achieved it before, If not, is it practically possible?

    Think of the people who are already achieving this goal. You may also choose to think of a time when you achieved this yourself. Check if it is practically possible.

    Yes. Many people do exercise regularly and stay healthy and fit.

  3. Is the outcome Specific?

    What Specifically? Where Specifically? When Specifically? Who Specifically?

    Get as specific and clear as you can about your goal.

    I will exercise for an hour everyday, 5 days a week. Go walking/ running in the nearest public park. Also do some stretches. In the morning between 6 AM AND 7 AM.

  4. How will I know when i am achieving/ have achieved it?

    Sensory Specific - What will I see? Hear? Feel? that will let me know that I am achieving/ have achieved my goal?.

    I will see to it that i am at the park at 6 AM each day, do the stretches and exercises and leave the park at 7 AM every morning, 5 days a week.

  5. Is the outcome initiated and controlled by me?

    Chunk the goal down to a set of actions that You can take.

    It is completely in my control to wake up on time, go to the park and stick to my exercise routine. I initiate it every morning.

  6. What price (in terms of time, effort, energy, money, etc.) do i have to pay to achieve this outcome? And is it worth it?

    Every goal you achieve comes at a price, doesn't it? Is achieving your goal worth it for You?

    I would want to wake up at 5:30 am and hence give up an hour of sleep. Also, preferably get to bed before midnight. And buy a new pair of sneakers. Yes, it is worth it to pay this price to achieve my goal - I will get healthier and fitter.

  7. How will this affect the other aspects of my life and any other people who would be affected by this? Is it acceptable?

    You would have many areas of your life that are important to you and it would be useful for you to balance things for your over-all well being. Check that the effects of achieving this goal are acceptable for you. If not, refine your goal further.

    I would want to finish up with all my work before midnight. I would be giving up some TV time in the evening to complete all my work well in time. Yes, this is acceptable for me.

Hope that this has made the process clearer for you.

So, I invite you to choose a goal you want to achieve now and use the process with it if you haven't already. You may want to cycle through this process with your goal a few times to create an Outcome that is Well-formed : Compelling and Achievable.

How will you know if the goal you have created for yourself is well-formed. You would know because it would be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.

Do share with us what your experience is of using this process and the results you have hence achieved on a monthly basis. Looking forward to your replies and wishing you the Best!

Have an Adventurous year ahead.

To Your Excellence,
Abhishek

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