With 2018 upon us I feel compelled to offer a message of goodwill and encouragement for the new year. It’s customary as well as true. I sincerely hope everyone accomplishes their goals and lives the life they want to live. The truth, however, is that most people will not accomplish their goals – or much of anything else – in 2018. This is because they do not have any goals to accomplish nor a plan with which to accomplish them!
On New Year’s Eve, millions of people made generalized statements about what they hope to accomplish in 2018. Maybe you were one of them. For the first time ever I was not.
Statements like “I’ll get back in shape,” “I’ll finish my degree,” and “I’ll focus on my writing” are common on New Year’s Eve. What exactly do the speakers of these nebulous generalizations wish to accomplish? By “getting back in shape” do they mean losing thirty-one pounds and developing the ability to run a 10k by the first of June? Or do they want to gain weight so they can go from pear-shaped to apple-shaped? By “focus on my writing” do they mean “getting up at four-thirty every morning to write at least five hundred words on my book project” or “looking at a blank piece of paper very closely to try to magically make words appear?” No one knows what they mean, least of all them. Without specificity, you lack the means with which to gauge your progress toward a goal. You also lose accountability because no one knows exactly what you wish to accomplish (including you!).
This lack of specificity is by design, of course. Most people do not want to set firm goals because they are afraid of failing to achieve them, what other people will think about their attempting them, or their self-image is not such that allows them to recognize their own ability to change. By not creating any specific goals, they leave themselves with a safe out for when December 31, 2018, rolls around and they are in exactly the same circumstances as they are in today. They can say “Well, I tried to lose some weight, but with the new job and Bobby’s school schedule, I just couldn’t make the time for changing my diet and exercise habits. Next year, I’ll be sure get it done.” No one calls them on their cop-out because most people do the same thing.
Your job today is to make specific goals for what you want to accomplish in 2018 unless you want to be another one of the millions of people who commiserate about their lack of progress with their fellow revelers on next New Year’s Eve.
This assertion may cause you apprehension. Most people know nothing of how to properly set goals and systematically achieve them. When I started I had no idea how to approach the problem. Goal-setting is not taught in schools – but it should be. After much searching, I found the solution and it literally changed my approach to life. You need Zig Ziglar’s Born to Win program.
Zig Ziglar was the father of motivational speaking. After more than twenty-five years in mediocrity, he changed himself. He started teaching other people how to change themselves for the better in 1972. By the time he died in 2011, his work touched more than one hundred million lives. His work is as valid today as the day he wrote it. The modern self-help gurus like Tony Robbins and Jack Canfield you see on the internet and in the bookstores have used Zig’s teachings and either repeated them or, in a couple of rare cases, expanded on them. They use them because they work. They will work for you, too.
Below is a link to the Zig Ziglar Born to Win book on Amazon. Do yourself a favor and buy it. If you can’t afford it, get it from your library. Full disclosure: if you click on this link and purchase the book, I will get a small commission, but it will not change the price of your book. I wish I could give it to you for free. It literally has the power to change the course of your life if you have the courage and desire to follow its simple principles. It will teach you how to properly identify your goals, how to set them with incredible specificity, how to track your progress toward them, and how to make a habit of continually engaging in the goal-setting process. If Zig doesn’t work for you, by all means, give Tony Robbins or another reputable author the opportunity.
Make 2018 the year you transform yourself from having a life of mediocrity to a life that others only dream about. The only requirement is the same that one that everything has: you have to do the work. Best wishes for a great year.