We all have areas where we want to improve ourselves; health, work, family, you name it. But reality sets in along with a busy schedule that doesn’t leave any space for a new goal. We also rarely have the persistence needed to see it through. Or maybe we just don’t know where or how to start.
The statistics of those who keep their New Year resolutions is pretty sad. None the less, for those who make the effort and persevere they will find value in the trying.
· Past the first week: 75%
· Past two weeks: 71%
· After one month: 64%
· After six months: 46%
We tend to think of failure as something shameful or undesirable because it makes us feel like crap. Understandably, failing to achieve a goal is often cause for negative feelings, no matter how big or small that goal was.
But those feelings can be changed when we understand failure is part of the process of success and teaches valuable lessons if we know how to learn from it.
Three ways to redefine failure and learn from it effectively.
Don't be afraid to make mistakes
Learning from your mistakes is about more than just thinking about what went wrong. It’s about clarity, the chance to see why a particular thing doesn’t work.
Think about it
Mistakes are not just a natural part of embarking on a new project; but also part of the human experience. As such, they should be accepted as necessary steps toward achieving your goals.
Having the freedom to make mistakes increases creativity. Without unnecessary pressures to avoid mistakes a creative solution to the problem can often be found.
Whatever the source of the mistake, removing any negative feelings about it and re-framing it as a source of new knowledge is the first step toward learning from failure effectively.
But what's next?
Rethink your approach to your resolution
Now that you're looking at the mistake without judgment, think of how you got into the situation.
If your dedication and focus decreased at any time, make note of it and try to find the cause. Identifying the internal and external causes that affected your resolve helps you prepare to meet them in the future.
In some cases, discussing the failure with someone you trust can help you see the issues from a different perspective. Rely on your support network to pinpoint what went wrong and how you could prevent it.
Identifying what caused the mistake is not enough to prevent it in the future. You need to take steps to prevent that mistake from happening again.
If your goal was to write a novel in six months, you've probably identified a few reasons why you couldn't achieve it - lack of time, insufficient planning, or lack of motivation.
But what can you do to prevent those issues from getting in the way of your goal in the future? In our example, you could scale down the scope of the novel, spend more time planning the story, or set a specific time to write undisturbed.
In summary, failure is not permanent. By accepting failure, analyzing its causes and defining how you can eliminate those causes, you're on your way to achieving your goals.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it. Make your mistakes, next year and forever.
An individualized growth/goal plan can help you achieve the vision you have of yourself. It’s something we need to consciously think about and strive toward. If you don’t plan your own development and growth, no one else will.
4 Steps you can take for an easy-to-implement, personalized plan.
1. Know yourself honestly
In order to plan for the future, you have to reflect on your past experiences, your weaknesses and strengths; they’ve made you who you are today. You also have to clarify your own unique values, such as integrity, respect for others, leadership, honesty. Your values define your stance. Moreover, there are several important questions you have to ask yourself:
What do I want to become in life?
What are my achievements up until now?
What are my personal goals?
What are my career ambitions?
What steps have I taken to pursue these goals and ambitions?
2. Develop your vision
Once you’ve asked and answered these questions, you’ll have a clear vision of who you are and what you want out of life. This takes us to the second step; developing your vision. How does your new resolution/goal fit into your overall life and personal growth? A smart tip is to provide yourself with several options to reach your next goal.
That way, if something goes wrong or you face an obstacle, you can switch to another path. Be flexible in your planning because life often intervenes in unexpected ways.
Another point people tend to not pay attention to is what they aren’t willing to do. This shares equal importance with what you will do.
3. Assess your present-day situation
Putting your strengths to good use will harness your energy levels so that it’s utilized efficiently. You can set up milestones along the way because smaller goals give you the motivation and drive you need to get to the big ones. And each time you reach a milestone or achieve one of the small goals, reward yourself for your hard work.
4. Review your progress
Each project needs to be reviewed and assessed, and your exclusive growth plan is no different. You can do it on a monthly basis, or every couple of months, whatever feels comfortable for you. But it’s crucial that you take a step back and look at all the hard work you’ve accomplished.
Check to see if you’ve left anything out or missed any deadlines. Maybe the mini-goals you set up no longer fit your criteria any longer, and they need tweaking or readjusting. Reflect on your experience and consider everything you’ve learned. This will ensure that you keep moving forward according with your long-term plan and the vision you’ve set up for yourself.
On a final note, you can draw up the perfect plan but if you don’t follow through, you won’t get anywhere. Everyone needs practice to develop and grow, even if it means stepping out of your comfort zone. Having something to strive toward can renew your self-confidence and that increases your passion for life.
If you know someone who could use this information please share it with them.