Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Reaching Your Goals in the New Year

Wishing readers a happy, healthy, and successful New Year!  

TraderFeed will start the new year with a series of posts on best practices, including those submitted by readers.  Perhaps one or more of those best practices will help shape goals for you in 2015.

Thanks to Bella at SMB for calling attention to this excellent post re: how to make your New Year's resolutions stick

One of the key ideas from that post is to frame your resolutions in terms of habits you want to develop, rather than as long-term, pie-in-the-sky goals.  That is a three-step process:

1)  Frame the Objective - What is the one change you most want to make during 2015?  A good place to start is to review your shortcomings during 2014 and identify the one change that would make you better.

2)  Turn the Change Into a Routine - If you are going to make your change, you have to *be* that change at some time, every single day.  If my goal is to be a more loving, supportive father during the new year, then I need to construct loving, supportive time each day with my children.

3)  Find Triggers for the Routine - By associating our routine with a regular life activity, we can become consistent in enacting our changes.  Let's say that one of my ways of being a more loving, supportive parent is to spend quality time with the children over dinner.  I might take up cooking and start making fun foods that the kids would like.  This would help turn dinner times into quality time. 

Common thinking is that we need to change how we think and feel in order to change our behaviors.  The reality is that the reverse is equally true:  by enacting new behaviors, we can change how we think and feel.  If you can find time each day to be the person you want to be, you will begin experiencing yourself as that person--and that will start a positive momentum that will impact a variety of areas of your life.  Using dinner times to be more loving and supportive might just help you be more loving and supportive of yourself during times of setback.

So what is the one change you can make in 2015 to be the person you most want to be? 

Here are a few posts you might find helpful with respect to developing new habit patterns:

Turning Goals Into Consistent Habit Patterns

Turning Success Into a Habit

Cultivating Winning Habits