Every new year we get excited about setting new goals. There are countless articles and news stories related to resolutions, goals and kick starting the new you — after all New Year, New You right?
This is the year I am going to make those big changes I’ve always wanted to!
Unfortunately, rarely do we achieve what we set out to. 25 percent of people abandon their New Year’s resolutions after one week and 60 percent of people abandon them within six months.
So after a few days or weeks you simply go back to living your life and those hopes and dreams are locked in a box, replaced with the daily grind.
Well not anymore! I’m here to make sure that doesn’t happen again.
The idea behind a big goal, or a New Year’s resolution isn’t the problem. Resolving to change an undesired trait or behavior is absolutely a good thing, but the lack of a plan is where the entire concept breaks down.
And that brings me to the secret that every Goal Hacker knows to make any change stick: Habits.
Habits allow us to succeed in spite of ourselves.
By fully creating a new habit, our brain actually goes on auto-pilot and those things we hated doing or wanted to stop doing simply become part of who we are without any thought required.
We go from identifying as someone wanting to go to the gym, to someone who goes to the gym 5 days a week at 6 am without even questioning it. Awesome right?
Not that it’s going to be that easy.
It will take an average of 66 days to create a habit (not the 21 that we have always heard about). But what’s worth doing that doesn’t require some work?
The good news is I’m going to share with you these 7 tips that will make it much easier.
Let’s get to it.
“Reduce your plan to writing. The moment you complete this, you will have definitely given concrete form to the intangible desire.” — Napoleon Hill, Author Think and Grow Rich.
There is tremendous power in writing things down. Our brain can visualize and actualize the concepts, which means we can actually see ourselves obtaining them.
Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University in California, did a study on goal-setting with 267 participants. She found that you are 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down.
Is there any more to say? Write it down!
When you create goals, plan them in 100-day sprints. That’s the perfect amount of time to achieve something big, but also short enough to allow you to pivot or skip it once the time is up without disrupting your entire year.
Start small. Rather than saying your goal is to achieve a $1 Billion Startup Valuation or Be Acquired by Facebook, start at a reasonable revenue or subscriber goal and then keep evolving it.
It’s easier to make a plan to lose 5 lbs verses losing 100lbs.
And losing 5 lbs 20 times you will get the result you wanted all along anyway.
Goals are the end point, not the journey itself.
Goals are simply a mechanism to determine the activities we need to do achieve what we want.
The real magic is in the activities themselves.
Here is how I like to break them down:
Goals — The end point and road map to create projects.
Projects — The planned work activities to reach the goal.
Tasks/Habits — What needs to be done to complete the projects.
Once you set up your tasks or habits, this is all you should focus on. These are what you will do day in and day out to get the results you are looking for.
In order to combat the resistance that your brain puts forward when trying to create a new habit you have to see yourself as a person that has already achieved your goals.
To do this, believe in your goal before you do it.
Tell yourself: “I’m the type of person that chooses vegetables over sugar” or “I’m the founder of a successful startup that has help change the world”.
We all have a ton of ready-made habits, just think of your morning routine each day. So tie your new habits into your old ones. Bundling with another habit or ritual you perform each day to makes it much easier.
When I pour a cup of coffee, I will fill in my Daybook.
“You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” — Peter Drucker
Keep Score! This is how you see progress, after all you can’t know whether or not you are successful unless success is defined and tracked.
So now you know how to be a Goal hacker. Always remember, success is a result of habits.
And now a bonus trick:
Habits and goal-setting are so important, especially for entrepreneurs, that I have created an entire day planner and workbook dedicated to them that may interest you.
It is called The Startup Daybook. More than 1,000 entrepreneurs have already signed up to get early access so they can set better goals and achieve their startup dreams faster.
You can sign up here to join them and receive a free sample PDF copy.