It is almost the end of February. A few months ago, I posted some thoughts on annual goal-setting and my tools for helping you create more depth in the coming year. Taking some simple steps to look back on the past year, and imagine what the new year could look like, we set some goals. Lots of people do that – they set New Year’s resolutions in January.
Notice what I did there… I referred to what we did as goal-setting. And I called what most other people did in January a resolution. As much as we see goals and resolutions through the same lens, they are very different.
Goals get done. Resolutions die in February.
You know exactly what I mean. You’re nodding right now because you’ve already broken your resolutions, or you’re smiling because your goals are still on track.
Either way, you know this is the truth. You can see it at the gym. In January, the parking lot was packed. The treadmills were full. The locker room was crowded. The weight benches were all taken. You would walk in to Shawn Mendes pumping through the speakers and people pedaling madly on the bikes.
Then February hit, and over the past few weeks, it’s become a lot easier to find an open locker, treadmill, bike, or weight bench. All of a sudden, it’s easier to find a parking spot near the door. The gym is starting to look normal again.
And that, my friends, is why I am writing this today. I hope that as we moved into the new year, you followed my lead and set goals, not resolutions. And, if you did set those S.M.A.R.T. goals I talked about, I hope you broke them down into the ninety-day timelines I shared. And if you did that, I hope you’ve been taking time each week to check in with yourself and measure your progress.
It’s February. It’s the time of year when the resolution-setters step back onto the sidelines. They’ve given up on staying in the game, and now they’re going to spend the rest of the year watching comfortably from the cheap seats. Yes, they look comfortable. That’s what settling for the status quo looks like. Comfortable, easy, and restful.
If you’re reading this, I don’t believe you are that person. You’re craving something more. You’re not wired to settle. You want to create depth in your life, specifically in the areas that matter the most.
So here we go…
First, if you’re reading this and you haven’t set any goals yet, start by downloading this simple tool for measuring where you’re at and defining your targets. Remember, they’re goals (not resolutions) and you can set a goal whenever you like, not just in January. If you haven’t set any goals yet, do it now.
Second, if you’ve set your goals, take some time to revisit the things you said you would do over the next ninety days to move toward those goals. Running a marathon happens a mile at a time, and achieving your goals occurs through these ninety-day commitments and the action you put in. Your ninety-day sprints allow you to get ultra-focused on what matters most in the short-term so that you reach your goals in the long-term.
Third, if you haven’t already done this, make your goals visible. Put them up where you can see them – on your mirror, in your car, on your refrigerator, in your office. Make them the home screen on your phone. Add notifications to your calendar to remind you of them. Visibility is one of the primary keys to achievement.
Last, schedule time each week to check in with yourself or even better an accountability partner who will push you. Ask yourself what you did over the last week that helped you make progress toward your goal. Ask what you’ll do this week to make more progress. And, if you’re feeling stuck, identify the source and come up with your plan to get unstuck.
Know this. You are not alone. I spent considerable time reflecting on my own goals this weekend. I had been busier than usual, distracted, and unfocused on my ninety-day action items. My progress had slowed down a bit, and I had to invest the time to reconnect with myself and the things I said mattered in January.
That’s my point to this whole post. Most people will not check back in with themselves. Like I said in the beginning, they set resolutions and now that it’s February they’ve settled back into being comfortable. That’s the easy path to take. Creating real depth sometimes requires walking a path that is more challenging and steep, and I would challenge each of you to get back on that trail – the view when you reach the top is amazing!
There is a difference between resolutions that don’t survive and goals that thrive. Today’s the day to focus (or possibly refocus) on your goals and recommit to doing the work it will take to achieve them.
Ready for more?
If this challenged you, and you want to continue being challenged, subscribe here to the Depth Not Width blog. I’ll be back next week to share some thoughts on creating a personal mission statement. I’m just wrapping this up for myself, and we’re just starting this process as a family, so I’m excited to share a bit about that journey and what we’re working on!
Til’ then, have an awesome week and keep creating more depth in your life! – John Gamades