As we start this New Year, we all want it to be a happy and prosperous one but how? What can we do to have a happy New Year? Are there any philosophies that we can follow for the happiness that we so much desire?
The key to having a successful New Year is to reflect back on all your 2017 accomplishments and decide what new goals you want to set for 2018. Henri Bergson said, “To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.”
If you don’t have a plan, or write it down, it won’t happen. And for any plan to pique your interest, you must attach the emotional experience with that and develop a routine, and follow through.
The truth is, many people fail in life not for lack of ability or brains or even courage but simply because they have never organized their ambitions around a goal. Simply wishing or talking about potential goals for 2018 is not enough.
JC Penny said, “Give me a stock clerk with a goal and I will give you a man who will make history. Give me a man without a goal and I will give you a stock clerk.”
Why not think of a small goal you could set right now in your personal or professional life. And ensure that you follow the “S.M.A.R.T.” criteria for successful goal execution. The “S.M.A.R.T.” acronym means, Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.
Specific – The objective needs to specify clearly defined expected results. If you can’t start immediately due to the nature of the goal, then at least set a start date.
Measurable – The objective should specify how to measure your success (i.e., provide a verifiable standard for evaluation). Whatever your goal is, make sure it includes things you can do and achieve. If not, it will be hard to track your goal and stay focused on it.
Achievable – The objective should be within your control and not overly dependent on outside factors. You should be rated only on work for which you are responsible. Because if a goal is not realistically achievable for you, it won’t be long before it becomes too overwhelming and you just give up.
Relevant – The objective should have a direct and obvious link to your career, your manager’s objectives, the department’s goals, and to important organizational goals. It should be job-specific and focus on work important to the organization’s success. You can ensure this linkage by including a “source” in your objective.
Time-specific – The objective should specify a time frame associated with the project, development or service. Such timeframes help clarify performance expectations and ensure your goals get done in a timely manner. Time frames can be within a certain period of time or by a certain date. If you’re like me, get bored quickly and is easily distracted, you may have to adopt a guiding principle that says, “Finish a goal before you start a new one.” If not, you’ll end up with a lifetime accumulation of half achieved goals. Hard work pays off.
Moreover, it’s important to recognize that there’s often so many things we need to juggle in life, and all of them seem to demand our attention. Yet not all of them are as important as each other. Some of them are just superfluous things that wouldn’t really matter that much if we just didn’t get to them.
“The thing about goals is that living without them is a lot more fun in the short run. It seems to me, though, that the people who get things done, who lead, who grow and who make an impact… those people have goals.” — Seth Godin
Veritably, goals draw out our sense of purpose and help us know where we are going. Hence, get help and rearrange your goals in order of priority. Connect with your own intuition and discover all those things you want deep inside so you can set your goals with more intention and more clarity. No matter what intentions you set for yourself there will be days and weeks when you don’t live up to your expectations.
Just make sure you don’t neglect activities that bring you elation. As you work towards the change that you seek remember there is no limitation on what you can potentially achieve except for the limitation you choose to impose on your own imagination. The goals you decide to act on are never etched in stone; so don’t be afraid to revise them if you need to. With intentions, there’s no failure, only temporary set-backs and opportunities to learn and grow.
This is the only way we will have a truly happy and prosperous New Year!