It’s a bit hard to believe, but this year is a quarter of the way gone. It was three months ago that you held up a glass of champagne and kissed away 2016, rang in the new year, and maybe hoped to make good on a few New Year’s Resolutions. The new year is a great time to make goals. You have a blank slate ahead of you, full of possibility. But now it’s time for a quarterly checkup, and a harsh look at whether 2017 really is going to be your year. And, if it’s not looking so good, what are you going to do to get the train back on the tracks? Let’s start with me. Like many others, I’m pretty good at making goals and then forgetting about them. But this year was a bit different. I actually wrote them down. Not in some Word or Google document that gets sucked into an electronic black hole in my hard drive, but on paper, in a notebook that my wife bought me one day for this very purpose. It lives on a shelf at eye level as I write articles, record podcasts, or work on one of the websites. The book always faces out so I can see the front cover that features a great quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson:
“Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.”
Sometimes this notebook helps me focus, and sometimes it sits there and scolds me. But it demands attention daily. It doesn’t let me forget about the promises I made to myself a short time ago, which are:
- Achieve paragliding P2 Rating: A longtime goal has been to be a pilot. I’ve tried several times over the years to finish my private pilot rating, but time, money, and shitty weather have always conspired against me. And now that the cost of flying small planes has become stupid expensive – it’s out. But I will get certified as a paragliding pilot this year. Instruction doesn’t start until warmer weather, but I’ve been working hard, have the money earmarked and the first lessons booked, so I’m on track with this one.
- Attend one conference on business development: I’m not a website developer, marketer, or radio personality by schooling or experience. In 2017, I will learn more about creating a better, stronger product for Intrepid Northeast.
- Build a combined email list of 1,500: You can help me on this one by clicking HERE. I promise not to flood your inbox with spam.
- Write one article per week: Ouch! Not good. I could fill up a few pages with excuses but the fact is I need to dedicate more time to research and writing.
There are a few more, but they are not important. What’s important is that you evaluate your goals and ensure that you’re making sufficient progress. If you find that things are not moving along as quickly as you would like, then here are a few tips to get going. It’s not too late.
- Tell someone – Simply put, goals are not goals without some type of accountability mechanism. They’re just thoughts that you can give up on without any consequence. By telling a friend or family member, you’re giving them permission to hold you accountable.
- Set deadlines – Make your timeline realistic. You should be hustling in order to make it to the finish line. If you don’t feel urgency, then it’s too far in the future.
- Break your resolution into short and long term goals – Some goals take time, in this case up to one year. So that you don’t feel like you’re running on the hamster wheel, set a few intermediate goals to make it feel like your goal is becoming reality. My paragliding goal hasn’t happened yet, and there’s not much I can do about it until the weather gets a bit warmer and the flight park opens for the season. But I’ve been working hard all winter, and the money is reserved. That’s a big deal. Recognize and celebrate progress.
Whether it’s trying out something new this year, making great strides in your career, or dedicating more time to yourself so you can breathe and think more mindfully, now is the time to give yourself a quick kick in the ass if you need it. Because it won’t be long until we’re all standing around with another glass of champagne, looking ahead to next year. Make sure that your goals for 2018 aren’t the same ones you should be crushing right now. So get going. I’m pulling for you.