In the first week of January, a friend of mine shared her resolutions for the year. She planned to start an interior design practice. Unlike her other resolutions, she has made this pledge before. By the third week of every year, her enthusiasm wanes and she postpones pursing her goal to the next year on the grounds it's not “the right time”.
My friend’s actions aren’t unique. Some pledge to join a gym and shed extra weight, others look at starting a business plan that’s been on the backburner. Others choose more personal resolutions, like cutting contact with negative people. Much of these resolutions end up on hold before the end of January.
A few years ago I did the same. I realised that for a very long time I had a particular business goal that I wanted to pursue. I would talk about it all the time, but I never did anything about it. There was always a reason not to, or so I thought. It was only after having a conversation with my mentor that she helped me realise where my problem was. Without a plan in place and breaking big goals into smaller targets, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and not know where to start.
If we look at my friend’s case, she always had a grand vision of establishing an interior design business that would grow and have multiple offices around the world. But she didn’t break down that vision into smaller targets with a deadline. She didn’t make the necessary changes in her habits the way she does in her daily life, which would have helped her realise her dream. She, basically, didn’t put her resolution into an action plan.
When I followed a strict fitness routine five years ago, I had a vision for how my body would look and perform and I conveyed that to my personal trainer. To achieve that vision, I changed my lifestyle and diet, incorporating more protein, which meant I needed to pre-prepare my meals. I also needed to factor in time for personal training sessions that I took seriously and wouldn’t cancel. That meant I had to plan my day around my exercise routine. I told my friends that we could only meet after my training sessions.
The changes to my routine, habits, diet, and breaking down my bigger goals to monthly and daily targets, helped me realise the fitness vision I had for myself.
Since the conversation I had with my mentor, I realised that the problem isn’t in our resolutions, but how we pursue them. No business goal is too hard to achieve. It’s just a matter of adapting one’s vision to yearly, monthly or daily goals.
Manar Al Hinai is an award-winning Emirati writer and communications consultant based in Abu Dhabi. Twitter: @manar_alhinai