The article goes on to say that 73% of those who make resolutions will eventually break them. Unfortunately, this is NOT surprising at all. My hope is that more Canadians are setting strong goals rather than weak resolutions and that is the reason less than 3 in 10 Canadians are on the resolution bandwagon.
"A goal without a plan is just a wish"
...and it could be said that "A resolution without a plan is just a wish" and hence the reason 2/3 of resolutions are abandoned.
In December Michael Hyatt discussed the "Top 10 Mistakes Derailing Your Goals" on his podcast. What makes a resolution a goal is the way it is writted and the plan that goes with it. I took Hyatt's ideas and applied them to baseball-specific goal setting as well as provided some of the tools that I use with the student-athletes in our National Sport Academy Baseball Program. We started with 5 mistakes last week and if you missed part 1 of this two-part series, start here.
Goal Setting Mistake #6 - There is no Deadline
Hyatt believes that people are scared to set a deadline because it creates a time when they can be judged as successful or not. This can create some anxiety, but deadlines are critical for creating urgency and forcing you to start. Sometimes just getting going proves to be the toughest part! Putting a date stamp on your goals can also allow you to spread the deadlines out so you can focus in certain areas for a defined amount of time. Our off-season here in Canada can be long and players feel like they have a lot of time to make adjustments through the winter. Without some deadlines, spring training arrives before they know it!
Goal Setting Mistake #7 - It is too Comfortable
Hyatt describes three zones that goals fall into:
ZONE 1 - comfort zone
Goals are not compelling enough and often you don't need to focus intently to reach these goals. The goals are set at a level where you don't have to be imaginative to achieve them.
ZONE 2 - discomfort zone
This is where awesome stuff happens! You may feel some fear, uncertainty, doubt, but that is a good thing. Hyatt urges people to reframe these emotions as positive indicators telling you that your goal is in the sweet spot that will challenge you. Greater investment usually means greater perserverance.
ZONE 3 - dillusional zone
This is when a goal that is so far away that you don't have a connection to it. It is unrealistic and can become more of a crutch than a motivator.
Goals should be set in the discomfort zone to be most effective.
Goal Setting Mistake #8 - The Goal Doesn't MOVE You
Your goals need to be compelling and you need to have absolute clarity around why the goal is important. How will your life change if you achieve this goal? The goal needs to connect with YOU...not your coach, not your parents.
I love the quote from Michael Hyatt's wife, Gail: "You lose your way when you lose your why".
Goal Setting Mistake #9 - There are no Action Steps
After you have a compelling goal, you need to list the NEXT ACTION that will move you closer to reaching that goal. The next action should be in the comfort zone. The action should be SO SIMPLE that it is difficult not to get! When players (usually with the help of their coaches) create huge, complex plans they rarely get to the next most immediate action and the overwhelming complexity becomes a way to procrastinate.
At each of our training sessions we have players write their next action step on a white board. This serves a couple purposes:
1. Players need to review the practice plan and give some thought to what goal they can attack that day.
2. Players then look at what their next action step is to get closer to that goal and go through the process of writing it down.
3. All teammates and coaches can see, in a quick glance, what every player is focused on improving that day. This allows each player to have some understanding of what their partner is working on that day as I feed them front toss, play catch with them, or work with them defensively.
Goal Setting Mistake #10 - There is no Review Process
All too often players set their goals and forget about them. Their list of goals sit in a binder or desk drawer never to be seen again. Players need a system to come back to your goals in regular intervals. With the NSA Baseball Program we have the following check points for our goal setting:
1st week of September - review the summer, and set goals for the school year
1st week of January - review all goals as we finish term 1 and head into the New Year
2nd week of April - review all goals as we prepare to move outdoors
1st week of July - review all goals as players head into playoffs
We encourage our players to keep their goals visible by hanging them on the wall or taping them to the mirror in their bathroom where they will see them every morning.
What other mistakes have derailed your goals in the past? What tools do you use to keep yourself on track?