Achieve Your Goals and Make 2021 Your Best Year Ever
Do you feel that collective sigh of relief that 2020 is behind us and a renewed energy for the year ahead? I do!
Have you created any new year resolutions? Or have you been so disappointed that you think it’s not worthwhile?
For many years, my resolutions were history by day two.
My new year resolution list used to look something like this: Lose weight, make more money, travel, get a new car, etc.
Then I learned about SMART goals which helped, but something was still missing. My resolutions continued to fall through the cracks and disappear until the following year.
I needed an iron-clad, goal achievement plan.
That’s when I remembered my favorite journalism class in high school. No story was complete unless you wrote down and reported back on the 5Ws: Who, What, When, Where, Why. The order didn’t matter, but the details did.
We couldn’t accept vague or shallow answers. We had to get to the heart of the matter regardless of how many times we had to rephrase the questions or drill down to get the real story.
Here is a 5W example using the new year resolution of losing weight:
Q. What is your New Year’s Resolution?
A. Lose weight.
Q. What amount of weight do you want to lose?
A. 50 lbs.
Q. Why do you want to accomplish this goal?
A. To be healthier and have more energy.
Q. Why do you want to be healthier and have more energy?
A. So I can live a higher quality life that includes hiking and playing with my grandchildren without becoming breathless or having to sit down from exhaustion.
Q. When do you reasonably expect to accomplish your goal?
A. Losing one pound a week is reasonable. So, 50 weeks, by the end of this year.
Q. Where can you go to help you achieve your goal?
A. Well, I could go to the gym, but with the pandemic restrictions and tight budget, it’s not the best option for me right now. So, I can do exercises at home and go for a walk on the nearby trail. I also heard about a free exercise class and Bible study starting at a local church. I could do that.
Q. Who can help you achieve your goal?
A. My daughter also wants to lose weight. Perhaps we could be accountability partners. My mother lost over 100 pounds two years ago and has kept it off, so she would also be a great resource. Plus, she’s my biggest fan and is always quick to help any way she can. Hi mom!
I’m also participating in Veganuary. It is a group of motivated people who want to get healthy, plus help the animals and planet along the way.
In Journalism, you typically write the story once and move on. But, these 5Ws are different. Write them daily and put a copy where you will see it often, like on a vision board or your screensaver.
Write them daily and put a copy where you will see it often, like on a vision board or your screensaver.
Sometimes, the day slips away, and you may forget to write them down. Be careful not to miss too many days in between rewriting your 5W goals. Or it will go the way of most new year resolutions, between the cracks of a fast-moving life into the cluttered ocean of your mind where dreams go to die!
When I started using the 5W method, I went from accomplishing 0% of my goals to about 50%. This year, I expect at least 80%. I have learned the hard way to focus on progress, not perfection.
Using the 5Ws, I have published a dozen books, visited places on my bucket list, and am on track to living the life of my dreams!
If you have struggled to achieve your goals, give the 5Ws a try, tweak it to your liking, and see how it goes.
I wish you a healthy, happy, goal-achieving year!