Park Hill resident Keith Roberts does not make New Year’s resolutions. A motivational speaker, entrepreneur, and MIT Master’s degree-holder, Roberts says, “If you have character, you don’t have to wait until January 1 to make a change. As soon as you become aware of something that needs to change, that’s the time to change it.”
Roberts distills his knowledge from years of reading, studying, and thinking about the interconnections between business, psychology, and spiritualty into his life’s work, which he describes as “using science, spirituality and generosity to help others be the best version of themselves.” He weaves aphorisms and quotations from favorite thinkers into his speech. One that he shares is “If knowledge equaled results, everybody would have a six-pack.” In short, we need to apply the knowledge and do the work to reach our goals.
Roberts advocates setting 90-day SMART (Simple, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound) goals, and employs an exercise from the field of hospice care to help clients establish their goals. “You imagine you have seven years left to live. What do I still need to accomplish? What do I want to see? What do I need to do?” After completing this reflection, replace seven years with seven months. From there, reflect on seven weeks. And finally, seven days. “When we do these in seminars and people read off what they would do if they had seven days left to live it’s like, ‘I’d have breakfast with my kids every morning.’ Great. It starts tomorrow…live today.”
This kind of self-interrogation is a crucial step in goal-setting, Roberts says, which you can then break down into daily goals to reach the 90-day objective. Why 90 days? “It’s been proven that we have at the most a 90-day attention span as humans.” He also counsels people to hold to a “two-day rule.” In other words, if you miss a goal one day, don’t beat yourself up over it. Just make sure that you don’t skip a second day of journaling or drinking your eight glasses of water or walking.
He recommends people identify an “accountability partner” to keep them on track; ideally, this is “a peer that’s not your partner.” No spouses or significant others, in other words. Writing down your goals, Roberts says, doubles your probability of accomplishing them. He takes a photo of his daily goals and shares them with his accountability partner/s, and they do the same. If someone sees a disconnect between a 90-day goal and the daily goals, they explore that.
Though he was terrified at the idea of doing stand-up comedy, Roberts says that doing a stand-up set was on his bucket list. Since he lives by the techniques he teaches in workshops and seminars, he set a 90-day goal to perform and made himself accountable by sharing this goal with his entire social media network. “Once I put it out in the world, I was committed to it.” He set short-term daily goals and three months later performed a 15-minute set at Caroline’s, a well-known comedy club in New York City. “You can accomplish anything,” he concludes.
A road map to Roberts’ goal-setting techniques, the OAK Journal, is available at https://www.oakjournal.com.