I loved this from Zig Ziglar: New Year's Resolutions are Last Year's Confessions - I didn't lose weight/get fitter/made more money/study harder, etc.!
Well, what can you do?
Last year is worth reviewing. Look at the year in review and sit down and write down what you could learn from it. What went wrong? What went right?
Look carefully at the things that went right - and follow them, not the things that went wrong.
I have an acquaintance, we'll call her Jenny, who last year went to the gym, took on a personal trainer, and lost weight and became stronger. She's back - having put on the weight she lost. What went wrong? She went back to default: munching things that are not good for her and not maintaing her gym routine.
Personally, I took the company into expansion and was bitten by the high overheads that entailed. The dream was good, the practice was wrong - the PLAN was wrong. It could not get me to where I wanted to and it has ended up costing me a lot of money. Ah, hindsight. So, that didn't work. Time to adjust.
Now, it's not use bemoaning last year's mistakes and saying oh woe is me. Jenny did not alter her default plan of eating foods not good for her constitution. I have (with my team) altered our plan - we made some tough decisions and looked brutally that the mistakes we made.
But now we turn to the New Year. What do we wish to achieve in the next twelve months? Are are plans SMART?
Each of our goals we write down will be visualised: I draw or get photos relating to our goals.
They will then be checked for specificity, measurability, achievability, realism, and time.
Consider aiming for a good set of exam results.
What doesn't work is saying: I need to get a good set of results.
The comment is a dream. It is not specific. Nor measurable. We don't know if it's therefore achievable, realistic, and we don't know the time scale. A dream is unconnected to the world of action.
Let's turn this around:
Think about what college or university you want to get into.
Then look at what needs to be done to get there.
E.g., it may be AAB in your subjects. These are specific and measurable (as are the mocks and essays you do until you get there).
Are they achievable? Well, if you're on D grade average from last year, the higher grades may not be achievable without some fundamental change in learning patterns and perhaps getting a tutor to coach you up to the higher grades. Time scaled - absolutely - you have 5 months to attain the goals.
Work backwards from what you want and you can create a plan as to how to get there. We're doing that with our business. But there should also be a contingency plan, or as our teachers say - two exit plans: what happens if you don't get the grades? Either you do - and you get to where you want, or you don't - and you need plan B to kick in. What is your plan B? That needs thought.
So sit down with some coloured pens, a piece of paper (don't do this exercise on the computer) and sketch out what grades you need for the year (or do this with your son/daughter). Then come up with a plan on achieving those goals - and I always begin with: "If I were to do 5% more work each day, I'd achieve …" what? Higher grades and greater confidence!
Dr Alex Moseley
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