Foresight is the ability to see beyond the now. It’s an ability that great people have. Good results are not attained in a day. They are rewards for series of concerted efforts geared towards a defined aim. The year is still very young to make assumptions of how it’s will end, but it is not too young for one to be wary of stumbling blocks that hinders good finishing.
The beginning of every year is always heralded by the “new year resolution” mantra. It has so become a norm that Google releases annual lists of the most searched New Year resolutions.
Since people always start the year with so much aggressiveness and enthusiasm, why then do several people finish the year poorly without results?
1. Poor Goal-Setting
Goals are realities of the future which can be seen in the present with the hope of achieving them. This means that goals are targets we aim to attain in the future. The future can be anytime. Contextually, the future is any time before the end of a calendar year.
A few days before 2017 came to an end, I walked into a mall to pick up a few things for Christmas. While I was on the queue waiting to checkout at the counter, I overheard a group of guys discussing about how big their 2018 was going to be. I wasn’t really eavesdropping. They were just pretty too loud for everyone to hear.
One was like, “I must buy Highlander this year.”
Another said, “I must enjoy this year, my babe will feel my cash.”
The third guy wasn’t very coherent, but he was of the same notion with the other guys.
I smiled as I listened to them talk. It is noteworthy that some of the stuff people aim at can be referred to as goals, but these ones sounded more like mere desires.
Did I say buying a car isn’t a goal? No. But there are characteristics every goal must have to be considered viable. Without these characteristics, the feasibility of attainment of the goals is zero.
Every feasible goal must be “SMART.” A lot of people learnt this in their 9th grade and might have taken it for granted. But it has the potential to give one the much needed success this year.
SMART means Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. These are the five characteristics of viable goals.
A lot of people set goals every year that are not SMART. New year resolutions are the order of the day, but people lack what it takes to fulfil them successfully.
Besides being SMART, goals should point towards a vision. A vision is one’s essence of life, core values and purpose for everyday living. Vision answers the question, “Why.”
Why are you setting this goal?
Why do you want to buy a Toyota Highlander?
Why do you want to make a million dollars this year?
Why do you want to lose weight?
These are all nice goals, but without a vision, you’ve got no directions. Thus, if you started this year without SMART goals, or goals that are not consistent with a vision, it’s most likely that you will end the year without results.
2. Lack Of Plans
While goals are realities hoped to be achieved,
planning is bringing the future to the present so that you can do something about it now.
– Alan Lakein
It’s never enough to set goals. Plans give wings to goals. Without definite plans, goals are just wishes. Yea, that’s right, mere wishes. Life is not a fairy tale, even though Hollywood has made us believe it’s a drama.
Over the years, I’ve seen people craft out great ideas and set amazing goals. But they keep waiting forever to actualize them. And I’ll be like, “What century are you gonna actualize this?”
Gone are those days when I get bamboozled by people who show up with loud and bogus goals. These days, I’m more interested in their vehicle of actualization which is their plans.
It can be really heartbreaking when those cherished goals or “dreams” eventually don’t come through. But the bitter truth is that dreams without plans are only figments of one’s imagination. The whole stuff will just remain stuck in your head. You are the only one that sees and understands it fully, yet you’ve not designed what it takes to make it a reality. Douglas H. Everett once said,
There are some who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into another.
The question is which are you? You can choose to live in a dream world all your life, or choose to accept life as it comes, or you can finally be the architect of your success by painting those dreams into realities. If you don’t draw a feasible plan for the year and walk in the consciousness of that blueprint, you’re most likely going to end this year worse than the previous ones.
A feasible plan will account for short term goals. For example, if you want to read 20 books this year, you are to split the books across the 12 months of the year and subsequently the weeks. A plan is a compass you are meant to look at every now and then for proper guidance. If your plan doesn’t capture your daily activities, it will become easy to let go of it.
In the third quarter of last year, I hit an iceberg. I drew plans to achieve a lot for the year. I wanted to develop my programming skills, develop some cool applications, write a couple of movie scripts and ebooks, and blog more.
Basically, my 2017 was loaded with a cargo of SMART goals. And I drafted out wonderful plans to get the ball rolling. Just as I planned, things were perfect until I eventually hit an iceberg.
My laptops broke down completely. My android phones followed suit and my investments started dwindling. Things took a negative turn and became very difficult. My plans suffered a major loss when I ignored them while trying to regain my financial stability.
The summary is that I left a whole lot of things unattended to. My excuse was, my milking cows were dead and all my gadgets were broken beyond repair. That was a justifiable excuse, right? Definitely! But that’s the kind of excuse that makes one to grow fat in failure. I was quick to realize how much I’ve deviated from the right course and immediately bounced back to track even without the laptops, phones and business investments.
Who told you success is a straight road headed to heaven? If it was that straight, then failure can easily be avoided. But it’s not so. The mistakes people make is to pay attention to unprecedented excuses. How much you can succeed is determined by how much excuses you can ignore.
Goals and plans can always be excused if you don’t have a resolute mind. There is a sharp difference between Reports and Results. While Reports are centered on details, stories, excuses, plans, challenges, etc, Results are focused on one thing, and one thing only: “the actualization of goals.”
A result driven person doesn’t care about how bad the economy is or how busy his schedules are. He doesn’t want to know if it rained cat and dog or if the sun shined mercilessly. His focus is not on the distractions that surrounds him and the numerous voices in his head. And even if he falls 10 times, he will rise 10 times and keep going until his goals are actualized. There is certainly no room for results for someone dressed in excuses.
It was Matshona Dhliwayo that said,
Excellence in obscurity is better than mediocrity in the spotlight.
WhenMichael Dell started Dell Computers in 1984, he was greeted with lots of applauses and equal dose of criticisms for trying to aim for what many thought was not attainable. He was establishing a company that sought to overthrow the leading computer manufacturing companies in the 80’s.
Many felt it was unachievable because IBM which was the leader in computer manufacturing, had been in existent since 1911 and also had great patronage. What was expected of every “rational” human was to just aim towards having a small company that will make enough cash for him for maximum comfort.
Let’s just say Michael wasn’t rational in the sight of a mediocre; he was certainly not a mediocre himself. The 19-year old university dropout had a desire to live above the status quo and to achieve what his contemporaries could not imagine. That unusually enthusiastic mindset was what gave rise to the much celebrated Dell Computers.
Mediocrity has a crippling power on the minds and capabilities of its victims. It makes one remain relaxed and unperturbed in comfort zones. Many people have the capacity to make remarkable changes in their societies, but have been limited because of their conformity to the status quo. For you to finish this year positively, you must have a concentrated hatred for mediocrity.
A mediocre can easily settle for the results of last year. As a matter of fact, if you are a mediocre, there is hardly any possibility of transcending beyond your current success level. Great achievers are not mediocre and a mediocre is not a great achiever.
5. Poor Financial Structure
The fifth reason why people won’t end the year without results is lack of financial stability. No matter how great one’s dreams are, if there is no access to adequate funding, it becomes almost impossible to see it through.
People often set goals and make plans without giving proper thoughts to this tangent. It actually did affect me negatively last year as I mentioned earlier. For instance, it will be unrealistic for you to dream of buying a $5million apartment when you earn a basic salary of $5,000. Financial independence can save one a whole lot of headache and breed a level of focus on what matters.
I was privileged to go through the New Year resolutions of a 13-year old. The stuff she wrote down really struck the cords of my heart. As tender as she was, she had a financial plan which captured how much she was going to save every week from the basic allowance the parents gives her.
Her only source of income was obviously the allowance, but she made up her mind to save 300 naira (82cents) every week. This amount seems meager, but at the end of 52 weeks, we’ll be talking of 15,600 naira ($42.74). That’s a whole lot of cash for a teenager in Nigeria. I asked her what she intended doing with the cash. She said she plans to buy her own phone and also get her dad a gift.
This is a 13-year old girl doing something that most adults cannot do – saving. As at last year, she saved 12,000 naira the previous year. So if you think she wrote down unattainable goals, you’re wrong. The amazing thing about her goals is not just about the saving culture, it’s about commitment, discipline, consistence, relevance and financial independence.
Poor financial stability isn’t just disheartening, but it has proven to be the most common excuse that causes people to lose focus of their goals. Hence, it is expedient that one starts early to set financial goals with adequate savings. Starting a startup, business or investment is a way forward. A regular paying job can do the trick, but there is more to it than just receiving salaries.
Not being financially stable is a sure way to end the year without results.
Over to you
What do you think could be the cause of not getting results through the year? What are the reasons people fail to hit their target(s) over the 12 month period? Share with us using teh comment area below.