2014 it is the start of a New Year, new opportunities, new blessings to look forward to. A clean slate or fresh start as some like to say. I am a very goal oriented person, very goal-oriented person, and very detail-oriented. I like lists and having things in order so when I set goals if I don’t meet them or finish those I’ve started I feel guilty. I decided this year I was not going to put so much pressure on myself to set goals that I know would be unattainable. I was listening to public radio today and heard someone talking about Forbes Contributor Henna Inam who said Instead of Goals focus on Practices because most people who set goals or resolutions never meet them. Great food for thought!
The hardest part is not making the goals but sticking to them. Forbes contributor Henna Inam suggests that as we set our goals we focus more on leadership practices that will help us develop muscles to meet our goals. What are the five leadership practices? Well, they are relatively simple and not so uncommon:
1. Resist Temptation: We all have things in our lives that will lead us into temptation so what we have to do is be strong enough to resist temptation. We do that by setting aside time to breathe and think before giving in to our temptations. When we do resist we reward ourselves.
2. Get Curious in Discomfort: How many of us have a hard time saying “No” to someone or, vice versa, someone says “No” to us? I know I do at times. Sometimes when we don’t know what we want, which for me seems to be a lot lately, or we don’t always know how to ask for it. We give in by doing something that will make us feel better. We need to get curious because that is what gets us out of our impulsive behaviors. We need to get into our “executive brains” so that the choices we make will be right for us.
3. Focus on Progress: We all focus more on where we are rather than the goal we need to get to. If we put our positive energy to use it will help us focus on how much progress we have made. Start by celebrating your progress.
4. Practice in the Now: There is no time like the present to take charge and take action towards one’s goals. Yet each year we find ourselves making all these plans and creating calendars… but what do we accomplish? Nothing, because we do not manage to take action in the present. Those whom are successful work in the now and, as Ms. Iman pointed out, adopt the perspective of “Nike” and just do it!
5. Focus on Learning: This is where when we start seeing ourselves as failures so we must give ourselves the gift of stopping, listening, and learning more. Take time for a deep breath so one can re-group and re-charge instead of judging ourselves.
That takes care of us but what abut our kids and goal setting? Simple… our children learn so much about self discipline and how making, and sticking to goals is of great value. Here are a few tip to help you and your kids benefit from making New Years goals and resolutions:
Make it a family affair! This is a wonderful way to teach about being part of a family tradition.
Different goals and resolutions for different age groups. What your child needs to work on depends on your individual child. For pre-school age that would be concentrating on picking up toys, sharing, brushing teeth and washing hands. Children that are ages 5 and up can understand a resolution and be a more willing participant because they get to choose and make their own. When your child reaches adolescence it turns to focusing more on responsibility for ones actions.
Be a Role Model. Children learn by what they live so if you take the lead they will in turn follow your lead and understand the significance and importance of goal-setting and accomplishing their goals.
Rewards. We all know that meeting a goal is an amazing feeling. Take time to acknowledge the goals your child is successful in accomplishing.They will benefit greatly from your admiration and will want to continue to build and improve their self esteem.