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Here's a guest blog from Chef Phillip Dell:
It’s that time of year again- the time when lots of people set New Year’s Resolutions.
40 to 45% of American adult make one or more resolutions each year.
Among the top New Year’s Resolutions are resolutions about weight loss, exercise, and quitting smoking. Also popular are resolutions dealing with better money management and debt reduction.
And just how many of these resolutions are maintained as time goes on?
- past the first week: 75%
- past 2 weeks: 71%
- after one month: 64%
- after 6 months: 46%
While a lot of people who make New Year’s Resolutions do break them, research shows that making resolutions is useful. People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don't explicitly make resolutions:
A resolution is the ‘act of determining’ which is good. You do have to determine and make up your mind to work towards a goal, but the goal is the thing to keep in your mind… the endpoint of the journey. Webster’s defines it as “the end towards which effort is directed.” So let’s take a few minutes to talk about goals.
First and foremost, the best time to start a goal is YESTERDAY. For example, if you want to stop smoking, it's not really effective to start after you finish "just one more cigarette". Start before you get to that point. If you need to lose a few pounds, the time to stop eating fast food for every meal is not tomorrow or after the weekend, but before you take that next bite. It takes a lot of self discipline to change habits, especially when those habits are tied to our pleasure-sensors (smoking, food, etc.). One reason people fail to keep their New Year's Resolutions is because they wait until January 1 to start implementing their goals, which doesn't give them time to train their bodies and minds to prepare for the challenges of making such important but difficult changes.
OK, now onto the more practical stuff. Here's a quick and easy set of pointers to help anyone set any type of goal...from personal goals to goals for your organization or business.
1. Think about what you want to accomplish. Sounds obvious, right? But I mean really think about what you want to achieve. The key here is to be specific. A revenue goal for "more revenue" is far less meaningful than a revenue goal of "23.5% above last year's numbers". A goal to lose weight is means less than a goal to lose 27 pounds. You see what I mean.
2. Write it down. You've heard it before...and there's a reason. If you don't write it down, you're depriving your brain of added sensory input and of a higher level of commitment. Something happens in the brain when you write things down. Your brain makes new connections when you write things down, making it more likely that you will remember it and therefore DO IT! Don't cheat yourself. Write it down!
3. Set a date. If you don't have an end-date, you're likely not to push as hard. Or you'll put things off longer than necessary. For example, "I want to lose 10 pounds" might take you ten years, unless your goal is to "lose 10 pounds by Valentine’s Day". One caveat to avoid here is setting unrealistic timelines. Keep it real, but do give yourself a goal to aim towards.
4. Identify the baby steps. Break the beast down into manageable pieces. If your goal is to become a famous television host, for example, write it down, set a date, then back your way into the bite size pieces. Eventually, you'll have baby steps that you can accomplish every day...and focusing on baby steps is a lot simpler than focusing on the ultimate goal. You know that question, "how do you eat an elephant?" Yeah...keep that in mind.
5. Do you need any additional tools (or skills)? If your goal is to build that fence to keep your dog from doing its business in the neighbor's yard, you might need a few extra tools. As you think about the specifics and identify the baby steps, you'll identify the tools you need to accomplish your goal. Get them. You'll need them for item #7.
6. WIIFM (What's In It For Me)? In other words, what emotion, what material possession, what career opportunities, etc. will you have at your fingertips when you accomplish your goal? Spend time fantasizing about what your success will bring. Taste it… Feel it... Hear it... Smell it... See it in your mind's eye. Experience your accomplishment with all your senses! This is a great way to let your subconscious mind help you accomplish amazing things. The more real you can make it, the more your mind will work behind the scenes to make it happen.
7. Now...TAKE ACTION. All the prep comes down to this point. Pick up the hammer (or put down the fries) and TAKE ACTION. Implement your baby steps one at a time. Be realistic but be persistent and dedicated. Babies fall while they learn to walk. You might stumble too...but don't give up. Keep your vision in your mind, keep your WRITTEN goals handy, look at them often, enjoy the images of what success will bring, and keep at it!
The world is yours (but you have to start now...don't wait for tomorrow). Only you can stop you. You are in control. Don’t let your goals fall by the wayside. Take control of your future health and make it happen one bite at a time!
Chef Phillip Dell is proprietor of Sin City Chefs and he was a champion on Season 15 of "Chopped" on Food Network.
He's worked at Wynn Las Vegas, Grand Traverse Resort, Benedicts in Las Vegas & many other restaurants. He's also a culinary instructor at Rancho High School in Las Vegas. Connect with Phillip on Facebook.com/ChefPhillipDell