Unlike most Americans, I will not be making any New Year’s resolutions for 2013 because I cannot keep them past March. Never have and most likely never will. Instead, this year I will be setting new goals and making small changes to achieve these goals. Goals are a better plan than resolutions for a few key reasons.
Most resolutions are huge overnight changes such as “I will stop eating fast food and doughnuts at truckstops” or “I am going to go to the gym three times a week”. As the start date nears for these enormous challenges, I find myself eating more and more junk food and making all kinds of excuses for not exercising. On the other hand, I am more successful if I set a realistic goal and start tackling it in small baby steps, gradually increasing the difficulty as I become more accustomed to the change.
For example, let’s say my goal is to develop healthier eating habits. I will start by getting a small fridge for the truck and start keeping some milk and cereal for a healthy breakfast, gradually increasing the healthy food intake in place of frequenting the fast food establishments. Another goal is to get out of the cab and walk around the truck or down the block for exercise. I may only do this once a week to start, but eventually build up to doing it at every opportunity. Taking things step by step make goals more realistic for lasting change. I’m able to feel good about myself and am accomplishing something positive in my life rather than feeling like a failure because I couldn’t keep a resolution.
Take another example, I have been averaging 2,500 miles a week, but my resolution would be to increase to 3,000 miles a week. After about three weeks of trying, I am probably going to give up and once again feel like I have failed. Instead of this approach, set a goal of simply increasing your miles every week, and then develop baby steps to help accomplish the goal. Perhaps quitting working with warehouses that keep you at the loading dock for six hours would be a step towards increasing paid miles.
Once you have established some goals, write them down on Post-It notes and put them on the dash to keep them in the forefront of your mind. Take a goal and design several baby steps to get to the end goal, and put the baby steps on the Post-It notes. As you’re driving down the road consider ways to reach each step and then initiate the changes. Reward yourself with something small for accomplishing each baby step.
I am not presenting you with a new concept. Goal-setting is used every day by top athletes and successful business people in all fields. The process helps with short-term motivation and provides more focus to help organize your time and resources. Each step towards a completed goal is a success story you can take pride in.
Happy New Year!