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You’ve Broken Your New Year’s Resolution. Now What?

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New years resolution

When was the last time you really thought about what you wanted to accomplish in the next 12 months? Most of us will take part in the somewhat dated ritual of coming up with New Year’s Resolutions, but do we really know what they mean? 12 months is a long time, and many people stick to a New Year’s Resolution for less than a month before they drop out.

Often times, New Year’s Resolutions are just subtly veiled attempts at fixing what you don’t like about yourself. I’m overweight, so I should resolve to go to the gym every day. I’m depressed, maybe I should try mindfulness. It’s easy to get caught up in the Christmas sugar rush and the New Year’s buzz and think that resolutions are going to be easy-peasy. But history will tell us that New Year’s Resolutions are some of the hardest things to accomplish.

Enter John Doerr and the concept of OKRs, or Objectives & Key Results. If someone sits you down and asks you to to describe your long term objectives and key result areas, would you know how to respond? Likely not, but by starting to think in this way you might start to develop an appreciation for the hard work that goes into forming long terms goals, and how much strategic thinking goes into coming up with the best ways to reach those goals.

John Doerr is a venture capitalist from Kleiner Perkins in Menlo Park, California who often speaks about the importance of setting far reaching goals tied to specific tactics and actions. In his TED Talk on the real secret to success, Doerr outlines how powerful setting specific goals and targeted actions can be to achieving long term success.

I’ve long been a fan of the OKR method, both for its simplicity and its effectiveness. If you don’t know much about it, the fine people at Google have put together a fantastic overview of how to set OKRs.

Now, if you’re looking for ways to develop more far-reaching goals for yourself or your organization, check out these four ways to identify the perfect OKRs:

1. Develop an annual outlook

Don’t try to stretch too far when you set your OKRs. Start with objectives that you can reach in a year in a stretch, rather than objectives that you MIGHT reach in 3-5 years. Breaking down objectives into the perfect size is often an art, as you don’t want to go too short (one month) or too long (2-3 years).

Goals that are too short term run the risk of not being inspiring enough to drive action, while long term objectives are harder to grasp.

“The greater danger for most of us isn’t that our aim is too high and miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” – Michelangelo

2. Focus on the purpose, mission and vision

Spend time asking yourself what the main thing is you’re talking about in this situation. What is the topic at hand? Perhaps more importantly, what is in scope, and what is out of scope? Make sure the objective is something that inspires you and your team, rather than just you.

Imagine standing up in front of a group of people and talking about the same topic, over and over again, over the space of a year. If the idea of this doesn’t excite you, it’s best to choose a topic or a theme that is better suited to your interests.

3. Break down the vision

Once you’ve defined your vision clearly, determine what it will take to get there. Take your time on this step. Define and agree on the results and the actions that are required to reach that long-term objective.

Outline 1-3 key actions and results which will drive success of the objective. If there are over 5 key actions necessary to reach success, it may be necessary to break out that large objective into multiple smaller objectives.

“We aim above the mark to hit the mark.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

4. Create a culture of check-ins and catch-ups

Get into the habit of having weekly and monthly check-ins so that people are aware of the progress being made on each objective. This is a good opportunity to get other people involved and interested in what you’re working on and share what you’ve been excited about in recent weeks. The hard part about this is maintaining consistency and making sure you don’t miss a week or two.

The power of OKRs is incredible if implemented correctly, and I would recommend them to anyone who has previously (successfully or unsuccessfully) attempted to adopt a New Year’s Resolution for the betterment of themselves and their team.

How are you going to make sure you stay on track with your resolutions for this year? Share your thoughts and advice for others below!

McVal is the founder of We Write For Growth, a platform for businesses to connect with talented writers and researchers and growth hackers. He is also the author of How to Make $2,000 a Month Online and Start Up your Life: Why we don’t know what we want, and how to set goals that really matter. McVal writes about motivation, decision making, and strategic thinking. He graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2011 with a degree in Spanish, and has since worked as a market researcher and business consultant in Washington D.C., New York City and London. You can reach him on Twitter @mcval or on IG @mcvaliant. 

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A Simple but Effective Technique to Be More Confident

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Many people want to learn how to be confident in different situations, but it’s not always easy. Maybe we’re too addicted to comparing ourselves or maybe social media has brainwashed us to believe that we should all be rich, famous, and in incredible shape. (more…)

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Knowing Your Message vs Delivering Your Message

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Have you ever sent a text message only to have it misinterpreted by the person reading it? Happens all the time. Have you ever given a presentation that you were totally prepared for only to have it fall flat? Happens all the time. Have you ever had someone ask you something like, “Why are you mad?” when you were not at all mad? Happens all the time. (more…)

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The 3 Most Important Things I Learned About Personal Growth

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When you look back on your life, what do you want to think about? Do you plan to reminisce on all of the good things that have happened and how they shaped who you are today? Or would you rather remember all of the bad decisions, challenging experiences, and mistakes made that hurt or wasted a portion of your life?

In my opinion, I think it is important to reflect on both. While it’s important to remember the hardships we’ve been through in our lives – without them we wouldn’t be where we are now. There are 3 very specific areas that I feel have helped me grow in a personal sense more than anything else in my life so far. 

These aren’t simple lessons in a book or a lecture that you can just absorb and apply to your life. These are things that I’ve learned through experience and reflection, and I’m still learning and growing today.

1. We determine how much we’re worth by what we think about ourselves, others, and life in general.

This might seem like a pretty obvious lesson in life but it’s actually one of the most important because we can determine our own worth by how we think about ourselves and the world around us. If you’re looking for success in any kind of business or social setting (dating), then I’ll tell you right now that it doesn’t matter if you have 10 billion dollars or not – people are still going to judge you based on your thoughts and beliefs alone.

What determines our value isn’t necessarily what we do with our lives (which is often based on luck) but whether or not we believe that ‘our work’ is worthy or not in some sort of grand scheme or universe. We may not always be able to control what happens in our lives, but we can always control how we value ourselves and others.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou

2. You don’t have to change your habits or personality just because someone else doesn’t like it – their opinions are THEIRS alone.

This is another one of those lessons that people tend to pick up on a little bit late in life, but if anything that makes its importance even worse! Basically, there’s going to come a time when you’re going to meet someone who has certain expectations of you as a person…but these expectations might not be realistic due to their motivations and personal beliefs. For example, sometimes parents might expect you to be a lawyer or doctor because that’s what they believe is best for their child.

However, this isn’t the case for everyone and so maybe your passion lies in music or writing novels. In this example, if you were also pressured into becoming a doctor – then there would obviously be some kind of conflict going on within yourself as a person. You should never have to give up something that you want to do just because someone else doesn’t like it! The reason why we’re put onto this Earth is to make our own choices and go after our OWN dreams instead of letting others determine what we can and cannot do with our lives .

3. You can’t change your life until you accept that you need to make a change.

When I was younger, I thought that this lesson would be pretty obvious – but as I got older, it really made me appreciate the fact that there are always different ways of perceiving our lives. For example, if someone wants to become rich and famous one day – their mind might simply overshadow any other possibility in their head because they feel like this is what they NEED to do right now.

However, this isn’t always true within our own lives because we think about things too literally instead of having an open mind. If you want to achieve success in any kind of business or social setting (dating) then you should be willing to try out different things instead of staying in your comfort zone. If you want something, then it’s up to YOU to actually go after it – nobody else is going to give it to you!

The three lessons above are some of the main things I want to pass on to everyone because they’ve come at an important time in my life where I need to start thinking about others instead of only myself. It’s great if we can learn to love ourselves first before anything else, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect everyone around you even though they might be your friends and family members!

If you enjoyed this article on the 3 most important things I learned about personal growth, then please share it with your friends and family! Also, check out my other articles on success & motivation as well as life lessons that could help people who are struggling with their life right now on lifengoal.com. Thanks for reading!

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​​4 Boss Level Growth Strategies That Create an Optimized Life

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Building a business is about more than sales, marketing, and flexing on social media. While those things tend to draw attention, they attract the wrong type of clients and are not how you build a sustainable and freedom-focused business. (more…)

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