Now that we are well into our way in January 2023, I want to ask: How are your New Year’s Resolutions going? Did you make any? Are you keeping them?
I’m not a fan of resolutions for several reasons but one of the main ones is that resolutions can be short sighted. We are built for the long challenge and to look beyond one year of dedication to something that may or may not turn out to be right or sustainable.
My word to my clients is always the same: Set goals; not resolutions that can end in a flash. The only resolve that I have inside is to set goals that work!
Goals need to be flexible because we live in a time when flexibility is needed! By flexibility, I don’t mean dropping or walking away from anything. Many of you know that I’m in the process of completing a set of goals to hike the seven tallest mountain peaks in the world!
While my original goal may have been to complete this earlier in life, I’m moving on to do it while walking in step with what is right for me at each turn. Will I reach my goal? Yes, I believe I will and along this trek I have redefined my purpose a couple of times.
That’s what I mean by being flexible and able to bend. Sure, Covid pushed my goals out, so rather than become discouraged, I shifted, pivoted and found a way to keep climbing and training. A little over a year ago, I stood on the top of Mt. Everest and have since summited other mountains in that same area. Life’s trials test us, but we should never let them shape us. Don’t allow them to change who you are in this life! Keep your eyes set on your goal and hike on!
Goals can be fluid but only to a point where you see a way for them to become a reality! Making a yearly statement about something that you want to do is okay but why not put that desire into the form of a goal? Put it down on paper! Make it real!
Here’s how I work with goals in my own life. You begin by realizing that while none of us are promised tomorrow, most of us will wake up again in the morning. The sun will rise. Whatever you didn’t do today, you can add it back into your plan and go for it again!
I have family goals first. Perfect Day begins with keeping what is important at the forefront of your life and vision. If you allow your passion for work to control you, more than likely, you will not experience what is truly the most important part of life: time with those who love and care about you.
I set goals for my business next. My goals are always listed in categories—whether on paper or memorized in my mind.
I have short range goals set because they are powerful motivators! Meaning you should always have a few goals that are reachable. Once those are reached, they provide the encouragement you need to go for the next step.
I set mid-range goals. These are the ones that require more out of me and my co-workers. We get to point A but we need to go to points B and C. Those usually require more Core strength and desire to “get there.”
In working with any of my goals, I take up a piece of paper or get on the computer and build three categories: short-range goals, mid-range goals, and long-range goal. We have talked a little about short and mid-range goals but not about long-range goals. These are the goals that you set for the future—10 or 20 years—if you can envision that far out. These often include retirement goals and things like that.
If you can’t go that far out, then set your long-range goals at 5 and 8 years. Any goal you set, needs to be flexible because our world has many shifts and turns. I tweak my goals every year. Overall, once they are set; they stay put. But the economy, the environment of what is going on in our world can certainly cause a change in the way I reach my goals.
Short-range goals include Perfect Day Touch Points.
Giving Am I giving my life (not just throwing money at something) to something that is meaningful and has purpose? I have a goal to give myself to my family, friends, and my business.
Financial This is a very important subject in today’s world. Regardless of where you are on the income scale, you know that it is costing more today to live than it did a few years ago! What shifts do we need to make to keep us debt free and living a full life? What do you need to cut from your budget that is simply a waste? At the first of every year, I ask clients to take an inventory of their spending habits over the past year. Hard to do? Probably, a little boring, too, but look at the credit card or debit card statements and you’ll quickly see where you have spent needlessly. Set a short-range goal to take charge of your finances.
Core This is where it can get tough. Set a goal to do what is meaningful and has value. Time with loved one should be at the top of your list. When I say time, I mean quality time. You know when you have overextended yourself to a point where there is no margin for anything other than answering the next text, phone call, or email. Place stop signs in your life that will keep you from “adding one more thing to your list of to-dos! There truly is a time when you need to say no to the obligation of work and yes to the vacation with your family.
Experience Set goals to experience life in various ways that don’t include “behind a desk.” Experience can lead you to a country on the other side of the world, or it could lead you to a sunset on a nearby beach.
The key to setting and accomplishing goals in life is not found in work, work, and more work. The key is found in being sensitive to your personal needs, your desires and passions for the future, and your ability to reach each goal. Be specific as possible.
Three areas short, mid, and long. What fits into each one and what specifically works. Actress and comedian Lily Tomlin said, “When I was growing up, I always wanted to be someone. Now, I realize I should have been more specific.”
The reason I close with “your ability to reach each one” is because so many people set unrealistic goals and end up falling short and feeling like failures. None of us are failures. Your life contains a great deal of potential. Set yourself up for success: if you are good at one thing, develop that skill. Increase your profit by being realistic. The chances of you becoming a millionaire in a year are probably slim unless you are already on that road to that much success.
But if that is a goal you have then, what do you need to put into place to reach it in a certain amount of time? You may need a strategic advisor to help you set an achievable plan in place.
I hope you can see why New Year’s Resolutions are very weak, when set beside a strong plan to reach certain goals in life.
Finally, never seek to be wealthy for wealth’s sake. Don’t run after riches that will only leave you feeling empty. Instead, go for the gold! Seek joy, happiness, to be loved and to love others. Then any mountain you need to climb in life, will seem almost effortless.
A strategic goal I have in my life is to help others reach their goals through what I call Perfect Day Living. In other words, an imperfect day becomes a Perfect Day with a simple adjustment of the way you see life.
Download my book on Amazon, Perfect Day: A Guide to Curing Lifestyle Deficit Disorder and Reclaiming Your Business, Your Relationships, and Your Life. Or better, Let’s CONNECT: What will 15 minutes cost you? It’s free! Sign up here and let’s talk about 2023 and setting the right goals for your life!
About The Author: Cokie Berenyi
Cokie Berenyi has been in financial services and serving the needs of individual and institutional clients and entrepreneurs since 1996. Mother, author, business owner, financial “samurai” and Perfect Day engineer, Cokie loves food, wine, travel, stray dogs, goat cheese, tennis, and alpine mountaineering.
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