Lathe Lavada - Edition 7




NEW YEAR, NEW GOALS Why New Year's Resolutions May Be Setting You Up for Failure

And just like that, another year has come and gone. I hope 2019 is off to a bright start for you and your loved ones. Seeing as many people choose to use the new year as a starting point to put goals and resolutions in motion, I thought I’d share a little of my own experience with turning aspirations into reality. Over time, I’ve developed my own sort of prescription for setting goals and sticking to them, and it’s hard to argue with the results. From fitness training to real estate, I’ve been reading books on goal setting for the better part of 25 years. While trends and fads come and go, there are a few tried-and-true rules you’ll find in almost any discussion of goal setting. Mostly, they boil down to setting yourself up for future success and making room for corrections when you need them. First, make a goal that is defined and achievable. Setting impossible goals will only serve to frustrate you in the long-run. For example, if you want to exercise more, it’s fine to be inspired by your favorite bodybuilder. But don’t make your goal “to look like they do” right out of the gate. While it’s fine to have far-away aspirations, if they are your only milestones, you will feel like you get nowhere no matter how hard you try. It is better to break these big goals down into their accomplishable parts so you can track just how far you’ve come along the way.

It’s also crucial that you don’t just tie your goal to some arbitrary date. This is the problem with the concept of New Year’s resolutions. Pulling motivation to get a fresh start from the new year can be powerful in the short-term. But to stick to any long- term regimen, that New Year’s energy is going to fade quickly. Worse still, fixing your goal to the new year makes it incredibly easy to tell yourself, “Oh well, maybe next year.” That brings me to the next important element in goal setting. You are going to stumble, because no one is perfect. Not even the Apollo rockets were on course 100 percent of the time. They reached the moon with pinpoint accuracy because their trajectories, while well-planed, allowed for course corrections. Just because you break a diet for a day or fall short of your savings goal for one month doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel on the whole effort. What I like to do is write down my goals and review them every morning. This helps keep them top of mind, which is important. It’s easy to write about sticking to goals in the abstract sense. But the noise and chaos of life prove very distracting if we lack focus. Just because a goal is attainable doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed. You need to make sure you hold yourself accountable and actively pursue your ambition.

Another twist I’ve added to the standard formula is making sure my goals aren’t restrictive. While I’ve mentioned the importance of keeping goals realistic, you don’t want to sell yourself short, either. If your goal is to lose 10 pounds, that’s great! But what happens when you hit that mark? Are you going to stop and go back to your old ways? That’s why I prefer more open-ended goals like, “Lose at least 10 pounds.” This wording makes it so much easier to carry the momentum forward and make a surprising, amount of progress. Most of all, make sure your goal has a “why.” In previous editions of this newsletter I’ve talked about my children, Lily and Liam, and how they are my big “why” — my motivation for so much of what I do. I work hard in real estate because I want to support them and their education. I keep myself healthy because I want to be active with them throughout their lives. I work to better myself as a person because I always want to be a positive role model for them. You don’t have to have a big, overarching “why.” But having something or someone to remind you of why you’re working so hard can make even the hardest goals attainable.

Lathe Lavada

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