What has been holding me back from putting pen to paper and planning out my 2015? A few things including…
Fear (of not actually accomplishing what I set out to do)
(lack of) Time
Distractions (thanks Netflix’s for adding Friends this year)
Enormity (if I start planning one goal, I have to plan all goals)
Yet we all know the facts: having a goal – just thinking about it – gives you a 35% chance of achieving that goal. Writing down a goal means you have a 42% chance of success. And actually sharing that goal with others – publicly declaring it – increases your likelihood of achieving a goal to 78%.
So how to capitalize on those facts. How do I stop being paralyzed by fear, time, distractions, and the enormity of goal setting and actually make it happen? Below are the four questions I am reflecting on and thinking about as I plan out my 2015:
WHAT WAS ONE THING FROM 2014 THAT WAS A SUCCESS?
And then what made it so? I had a goal to shut down technology when interacting with coworkers. I wanted to raise my relationship presence and increase my focus on people. As the community manager for our social strategy AND an advocate of our people-centric culture, this seemed like a challenging, but important goal.
When people stopped by my desk and asked if I had a few minutes, I was honest, “One second, let me finish this email.” But when I decided to engage with them I would lower my laptop, flip my phone over, and physically turn towards them. This was not necessary with every interaction, but when done, it allowed me to focus on understanding them and their needs. The feedback I have received around connecting has been fantastic and the relationships I have fostered will be valuable moving forward.
WHAT WOULD BE AWESOME TO ACCOMPLISH THIS YEAR?
Tom Epperson gives us some advice around picking our goals for the year. He says often our best intentions fail because “they are imposed on us by others – we’re not really that motivated to accomplish them, but feel guilty if we don’t.” He reminds us to pick a goal that is challenging, aligns with “what you value and who you want to be,” and then write it down.
A 2015 goal I am setting for myself rests within the intentionality of creating space. This will primarily show up in the form of [not] purchasing/collecting things (this includes clothes, books, papers, tchotchkes) in order to create more space (both physical and mental). This goal is about eliminating the unnecessary and proactively thinking about what I need that fit with my goals and values and seeking just those things out.
WHAT IS ONE THING YOU CAN DO – RIGHT THIS SECOND – THAT CONNECTS TO THAT GOAL?
I always feel like I have to wait for the “right time” to start. Who says this moment isn’t the perfect moment for a new beginning? I have seven scraps of paper that I took phone notes on forever ago. Yes, they are connected clients, however, the messages’ content have already been taken care of. It is just sitting in a small messy pile on my desk “just-in-case.” One thing I can do right this second to be more intentional about clearing literal space (and therefore opening up some mental, emotional, and spiritual space) is to toss all seven of those notes in the recycling bin.
I am on my way of accomplishing my goal. It can be as simple as that.
WHO CAN BE YOUR ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER?
Who knows you well enough to call you out or check in on your goals? For instance, who could ask me, “I know you were interested in creating some mental space… where have you seen that paying off?” Which will give me the opportunity to reflect on my progress, my success, and to reevaluate if this goal is pushing me in the right direction. I also give them permission to call me out – “I have noticed you are running around, hair on fire, meeting to meeting. What is one way you can be intentional about creating some space this afternoon?” Because yes, sometimes that smack-in-the-face-feedback is what we need.
It is never too late to start on a New Years Resolution. Today is just as good of a day as January 1 for a fresh start. Share a 2015 goal you have and one thing you are going to do right now in the comment section below. And, if you are in need of an accountability partner, contact me @deaaronson or via email! We can connect and set up a schedule to check in with each other and hear about your progress.