Don’t plan for success, act for success. We don’t need to be “doing” more things later, but “being” more things now.

Lose weight. Wake up earlier. Eat healthier. Save more. Spend more time with family. Travel. Do these sound familiar? You’ve probably thought about one, maybe planned for one or two, and possibly subscribed to something that may help you achieve some of the above. I know I have. The number one resolution we all make to ourselves is self-improvement and education (44.3%), weight related (32.4%), money (42.15%) and relationships (22.8%). Studies show that of the 41% who make new year’s resolutions, only 9.2% feel they have achieved their resolution. Where do we go wrong?

Is it even worth setting goals in the first place? Statistic Brain Research found that people who explicitly make resolutions are ten times more likely to achieve their goals than people who don’t make resolutions. Here are my tips on how to plan for success in 2018. Gandhi said: “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” These four points will help you find that alignment.

01 Reimagine Success. The happiness of pursuit

Success doesn’t look anything like you imagine it to be. It’s because we usually imagine the end. You’re likely to have already experienced success in some areas of your life. Success is not a linear trajectory at all. It has ups and downs, spirals, resets and multiple restarts. When we set goals so much of our focus is on the destination. The phrase “pursuit of happiness” comes to mind. Reimagine this to become the “happiness of pursuit.” Instead of imagining what it looks like to achieve the goal, envision the process it will take to get you there. Research the stories of the people you admire and observe what they have endured to achieve the same goal. A vision of success can be very alluring, whereas a focus on the process allows us to step back into reality. From this place we can easily see what will go wrong, or right, and find practical substitutes and solutions. You can use the below framework as an example.

 

02 Redefine success. Is your goal really yours?

We’re navigating a noisy world. Everyone has good ideas, and most annoyingly, everyone has a good idea for us! The modern-day challenge is deciding on what to focus, prioritize and invest. The main reason we don’t achieve goals is because we lack attention. Bruce Lee said, “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” This is because of two things. First of all, daily distractions – such as phones, Netflix and the people we surround ourselves with. Secondly, we’re not focusing on what we care about.

To give something our attention requires it to have meaning, purpose and a deeper reason for doing so. Often, in the process of chasing our goals, we start chasing goals that we’ve adopted and borrowed from those to whom we’ve spoken, listened or read about. Our vision of success has become clouded by the visions of others. A simple exercise is to get specific about the parts of your vision you identify with, and those that you don’t. Lack of attention to detail means we disregard things that are meaningful and prioritize that which is not.

 

03 Rewrite Success. Balance is a myth

In a speech given by Coca-Cola’s former CEO Bryan Dyson, at the 172nd commencement of the Georgia Tech Institute in 1991, he asked the audience to imagine life as a game in which you juggle five balls in the air. He named the balls ‘work,’ ‘family,’ ‘health,’ ‘friends’ and ‘spirit.’ Just the thought can seem daunting. If you’ve ever tried juggling you’ll know how difficult it can be to juggle three balls, let alone five. Life often feels like this too. When trying to balance everything, we seem to accomplish nothing. You can have it all, but not at the same time. Life consists of phases and it’s important to consider which phase you’re in. Different phases have different priorities.

 

04 Redo. Fail like a scientist

If you want to plan a successful 2018 you need to starting testing and experimenting now. October through December is the perfect time to try out new ideas, new routines, find the right partners and create new habits. This will ensure that by the time 2018 arrives, you’ll be as effective as possible. If you’re able to overcome known obstacles, unearth unknown challenges and still resolve them this year, then 2018 has the potential to be a hugely different experience.