Setting objectives for the New Year is a process we all undertake to some degree. Why do we do this? We partake in this process to take us from point A to point B. Most folks want something that is better, that is more, which is easier, that is comfortable for our future and few of us are satisfied with where we are today. Hence to get from point A to point B, we plan, calculate, estimate, define, and communicate.
Like an organization when we establish our New Year resolutions we often consider the categories of our lives that are most meaningful and impactful towards achieving our goals. Useful and valuable is a statement identifying what we want at point B that is not something we have at point A.
Many folks have shared wishes in the USA to each other for 2013 that it be a better year relative to 2012. Many folks have felt 2012 was a tough year and that we would benefit from having a better year leaving what is past in the past. Ironically, stocks have returned to the level they were in the pre-2008 debacle for many organizations but with unemployment levels sustained at 7 to 9 percent generally across the land, losses in stock have added to the financial burden for those struggling. Hence it is no surprise folks across the country are looking and planning for a better year. That psychological focus often breeds success as does positive energy.
With folks ready to move on plans individually focuses on specific areas folks feel they have control. These typically include:
• Health & Wellness (includes diet, exercise, psychological balance)
• Family (relationships, support, needs, roles)
• Economics (financial planning, income stream(s), expenses, investments, risk management (insurances)
• Work (what are the new skills needed, hours of work, commitment to role, organization and team, communications,…)
• Spiritual (commitment to something bigger than ourselves)
• Social (engaging in the community we belong or want to belong)
Often for Health and Wellness we want to get into better shape, some want to lose weight and/or improve their health experiences or future outlook. Some look to be more mindful of stress management and the associated triggers we have to ignite stress in our lives and to work towards reducing or eliminating those we can control while others set goals to run Triathlons to Iron Man/Woman status.
Family focus allows us to remember what is the most important aspect of our lives. Some of us have highly functional families that are closely-nit like the Walton’s on TV while others couldn’t be further from this experience. Whatever our family circumstances are, we generally hope for more peace and harmony in our families and people we can count on through thick and thin. What our part is in developing, fostering and sustaining this drives our plans forward for the coming year as we assume some accountability for ourselves.
Economics we have control over maybe 80% while there is that 20% that is uncertain. Our economics are defined by our decisions to spend, save, and our energy and efforts towards bringing in revenue. Not everyone can be a millionaire and most who have become millionaires never planned to be, they just were folks driven by an idea that they obsessively pursued and in that process became millionaires. Some inherited it and how they choose to spend it, save it, invest it is part of their New Year plans as well. Economics to save more and spend less or to invest in the future all are part of our plans much like organizations do as well.
Work is goal/objective that for some is getting a job, others getting a different job, or leaving/retiring from a job to pursue personal goals and objectives. For some it is how to be better in our jobs and pursue those things that will allow us to flourish in the roles we have chosen or been given to perform. Examples of this goal could be to polish up communication skills in writing and speaking by taking and participating in public speaking programs such as Toastmaster. Alternatively one might want to focus on management of staff and work on supervisory courses that teach policies, procedures, programs within the organization that help pursue the knowledge and skillsets needed to be a more effective manager. Still others may need to delegate more and let go of things building better levels of trust between themselves and their employees while establishing metrics to assume a greater oversight role.
Spiritual which is often interpreted as attending religious services yet this area includes a part of our wellbeing that goes beyond earthly things. How we deal with the unknown, unproven and incorporate our beliefs our faith in our daily behaviors, practices from which we fine joy and happiness is a better definition of this area/objective. Examples could range from praying more for guidance and help to participating in yoga 3 times a week at Kripalu in Stockbridge, MA.
Social is one of the easier objectives since most of us as human beings are social. This objective/goal is however deeper than our natural tendency and may focus more on moving out of patterns that make us too social or not social enough. We may decide we need to get out and draw others into our lives more deeply and frequently. We might instead plan to participate in community events more frequently and/or create them for others. Perhaps we see our friends less frequently than we would like and so we view the planning for 2013 as one in which we wish to see our friends at least 2-3 more times than we have in the past per month or per week depending upon our situation.
Finally, with each of these typical objectives we refer to in our planning for the New Year, our success is based on our discipline, our ability to engage others to support and guide us and of course to forgive us when we prove to be less than perfect in pursuing these objectives. Setting objectives that seem plausible at the beginning of the year yet seem impractical several months into the new year, is a perfect time to reflect and change what needs to be changed in those objectives and goals to be more realistic. It is not a bad idea to give ourselves 3 months to see how we have done to our goals and objectives. Three (3) months allows us enough time to measure our discipline to behaviors without faulting ourselves for a few slips on a monthly basis. After all, we are all human.