By Yigal Adato
As the year begins, most people start with the traditional resolutions. From wanting to lose weight to making more money, we talk about our resolutions around the dinner table and even during lunch meetings. But if only people knew the secret weapon to achieving these goals, they wouldn’t be repeating the same resolutions year after year—but accomplishing them.
Picture this: An Olympic gold medalist archer sets up to hit the bullseye. He breathes, sets his stance and pulls the bow back. As he releases the arrow, it flies through the air and pierces the bullseye perfectly. He is asked to do it again, so he takes the same steps he has been mastering for years and once again hits the bullseye. This time, something changes. He is asked to try once again but only with a slight difference. He is blindfolded and spun around three times, leaving him a little disoriented. Now, do you think he can hit the bullseye again? My guess would be no because he doesn’t know where the target is. When the archer is blindfolded, he loses clarity; this is what happens when we are vague with our goals.
One of the most popular resolutions is losing weight. Let’s go over an example to see how clarity can help achieve this resolution. Your goal is to lose 15 pounds. You get excited and buy a gym membership. You spend lots of money on expensive gym clothes and you even spend money on a heart rate monitor because you read somewhere that it’s important to track. I am sure you will hit the gym the first couple of weeks, but more likely than not, at some point after the first few months of the year, you will be charged for a gym membership that you have quit using.
With improved clarity, you frame your goal so as to be as clear as possible, knowing what needs to happen. That same resolution to lose weight might start to look something like this: Lose 25 pounds by May 31, 2016. Step 1: Buy a gym membership and workout every Tuesday and Thursday, 7-8 a.m., lifting weights or taking a class. My backup day will be Friday at 7 a.m. in case I can’t make one of those days. Step 2: Eat clean six days a week, consisting of no processed foods or fast food. Step 3: The goal is to lose 1 pound a week while maintaining strength. Step 4: Find a gym buddy to hold each other accountable to your goals. Now that is a plan!
With clarity, you will be able to measure your progress every step of the way. If you are not clear, your mind tends to think you are just saying words again that will not be supported by action and another year will go by without you hitting your goals.
This process works for any goal you have, from making more money to going on a dream vacation. The most important part is to write down your goals and then clarify as much as possible about how you will make it to the finish line until you are 100% positive what needs to be done to get there.
I wish you the best of luck in your goals for 2016 and remember clarity is essential to achieving any goal you have.