January 1st : clean slate. Time to take the future in hand. Set those goals. Begin the life for which we were always intended. Yes!
The title of Paul Arden’s bestseller It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want To Be - sums it up nicely, and the third page shouts: "Without having a goal it's difficult to score"
Stalking the perhaps slightly longer, more meadow-like turf on the other side of the fence, John Kay’s Obliquity advocates the indirect method of goal achievement. Do what you’re good at, the rest will come...
Fair play John, fair play Paul. But what about a fusion as the key to the successful new year’s resolution???
Roger begins the new year on a cabbage soup diet chained to the treadmill and vowing to look like Usain Bolt by pancake day. A week in to his self-imposed torture schedule he has pulled all but two of his muscles. Defeated, Roger reverts to refined carbs with a daily exercise regime restricted to channel flicking from the comfort of one of those armchairs like Joey has in Friends.
We often fail because we are too focussed on the goal, our focus plays havoc with our sense of time. The goal is all and we want to get there yesterday. So we find the most direct method and wham bam etc. we burn out.
Case study – parallel universe
Roger wants to be fitter (happier, more productive...). He enjoys cooking, spending time with his girlfriend Imelda, a keen runner. He also likes seeing his friend Mick (they were in the tennis team together at university) but they never really manage more than once a month. Roger suggests that he and Mick join the local tennis club which meets most Saturday mornings. Evenings are spent experimenting with new and nutritious recipes with which Roger impresses Imelda after tagging along on her evening jog with her and her newly acquired Dachshund, Geoffrey. By mid July Roger and Mick have made the second tennis team and the bond of their friendship is strengthened to university-day levels. By September Roger and Imelda have completed a half marathon and are considering London 2013. Oh and Roger has lost 2 stone, can see his collarbones and has the serotonin levels of a Blue Peter presenter.
Know what you want to achieve – in your career or your life, wherever – and then find the things that you enjoy doing, that you can commit to long term, to help you get there.