Sunday, January 1, 2012

"A dream without a plan is just a wish" & New Year's Resolutions

"A dream without a plan is just a wish."
-Larry Elder

RESOLUTION: the state or quality of being resolute; firm determination; expression of desire or intent.

A few years ago, my New Year's resolution was... to not make any more New Year's resolutions... And that's the first one I've kept. Ever.

It seemed to me that the same people were making the same resolutions every year because they hadn't  accomplished them the previous year. I can count on one hand how many resolutions I know about that have made it past February.
And I've personally never made a resolution that made it to the end of January, leaving me with feelings of guilt, failure, and hopeless frustration.

Then this year I had a brilliant idea!

This year, instead of resolutions, I would set real goals!

GOAL:  an observable and measurable end result having one or more objectives to be achieved within a more or less fixed time frame.

The reason I know this idea is so brilliant is because when I shared this new brilliance with my husband Eric, he didn't think I was brilliant on my own.

Eric has been reading Dave Ramsey's EntreLeadership and he thought I had read the chapter entitled "Start with a Dream, End with a Goal", where Dave says, "Years ago Sharon and I started the tradition of setting goals at the beginning of the year. Not New Year's resolutions, but real goals."

I could get annoyed that my husband thought I was mooching off of other people's brilliance, but I've decided to take it as a compliment instead. If Dave Ramsey thought enough about this whole "goals vs. resolutions" thing to write it in his book, then it has to be brilliant, right? Right?

Eric suggested I read that chapter and I'm so glad he did. In fact, I suggest you do, too because I'm not going to tell you all the good bits I got from it.

But I will give you a couple of quotes to pique your interest and so you know what the heck I'm talking about for the rest of this post:

"You just can't do big things without making your goals specific, measurable, yours, with a time limit, and in writing."

Dave Ramsey, along with other goal gurus, know that "you have to set goals carefully and intentionally in every one of [the following] areas":
  1. Career
  2. Financial
  3. Spiritual
  4. Physical
  5. Intellectual
  6. Family
  7. Social
Zig Ziglar calls this "the wheel of life."
"If you leave one side of the wheel flat, you have a flat tire."
Some of these "spokes" come more easily to me than others. 

Photo by All That Jazz Photography
But when I told Eric that I didn't want to set any physical goals he said, "Then you'll have a flat tire."


So if I don't work on my "spare tire", apparently I'll have a "flat tire" in my goal setting.

I'm thinking and praying through how to stretch myself in the areas that are not easy for me, without setting what Derek Sivers calls "bad goals" which you can read about here.

I'll probably take some advice from Dave Ferguson: 6 Questions That Create A New Future.

I may even go crazy and take Jon Acuff up on this challenge: I dare you to do this with me
I'm still torn about sharing my specific, measurable, time limited goals in these 7 areas with you all and possibly embarrassing myself by revealing what I want to work on, or if I want to heed Derek Siver's advice to "zip it", which you can watch at the bottom of this post and/or read about here.

Happy 2012 and may you all go confidently in the direction of your dreams!

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams!"
-Henry David Thoreau