New Year Resolutions
We all start the year with the best of intentions. It’s a fresh, new beginning that opens us to dreaming about the possibilities. Have you set your goals or made a New Year’s Resolution? Is it just an idea or have you put it down on paper? The difference between dreams and realization of our goals is simply the actions that take us beyond the inspiration and toward breaking new personal records.
Why New Year’s Resolutions Do Not Work
Starting every January 1st, most people are optimistic and have good intentions for how they envision the upcoming year. The problem with New Year’s Resolutions is most people don’t make it through the month of January before they have settled back into the comfort zone of their old patterns. Patterns are very difficult to break and require a game plan with daily effort.
How to Set a New Kind of New Year’s Resolution
If you really want to change the outcome of your year, you will need to devise a Strategy for achieving a goal. According to a recent article in Forbes “Ten Things You Should Know about Goals” by David DiSalvo,
[a] study showed that people who merely thought about their goals and how to reach them succeeded less than 50% of the time, while people who wrote goals down, and enlisted friends to help them by sending regular progress reports succeeded closer to 75% of the time.
Step 1: Make a List & Write it Down!
So… Get out a pen and paper, or if you are techy, you can make a List on Google Drive. (Google Drive is a free application that has a series of document formats including List making function. And, if you need help learning how to use Google apps, touch base with me.)
Step 2: Create Categories for Personal Achievement
Develop a categorized, general list of the areas that you might like to improve this year: Financial, Physical Fitness, Weight, Spiritual, Relationships, Professional/Personal Growth, etc.
Step 3: Get Specific about your Goals
Under each category, make a list of the exactly what you might like to achieve and make those goals specific. For example, do not say “I’d like to make more money”, but be specific down to the dollar amount of how much money you would like to increase in terms of your income or savings.
Step 4: Develop a Plan
While the chances of you achieving your goals throughout the year are possible, a goal without a plan is just a pipe-dream. For example, if I asked you to drive from Miami to San Francisco, would you go without some form of map? Maybe… but it might take you a really long time to get there without some kind of plan on how you might get there. For each category or goal, write down your plan for how you are going to achieve the goal. Define a reasonable amount of time that you estimate it might take you to reach your goal and set a deadline.
Step 5: Daily Tactics
Even if I gave you a map to San Francisco, but you don’t drive the miles daily to get there or (worse yet) you don’t even bother to get into the car, are you likely to get to your destination? Highly unlikely. This is why Daily Tactics or Actions are necessary to get you where you want to go. Next to each Goal Plan, define a daily action that must be done in order to achieve the goal. You may need to reverse-engineer from your deadline, the exact tasks that you will need to fulfill in order to reach your outcome. For example, if you want to lose 20 pounds, you might want to give yourself a six month time frame and then determine how much you would need to lose weekly. Then determine how much exercise you would need to do daily to burn the calories.
Step 6: Be Accountable
One of the best ways to make your resolution a reality is to partner with someone who can hold you accountable to your plan. Tell a friend, or team up with someone who you know will hold your feet to the fire. Give your accountability partner or team the permission to call you out on your “resistance” to doing your daily actions. Then plan a celebration or some kind of fun incentive to mark when the goal is achieved. At the end of every race, there is the party just beyond the finish line.
Here’s to a Record-Breaking 2014!
So as I mentioned in the previous post, Dubai set world records for the biggest fireworks display. This was not just a half-baked dream. It took hundreds of people and almost a year of planning to create an event that delighted the world. Maybe your New Year’s Resolutions are not quite so elaborate, but why not make it a record-breaking year for yourself? Resolve to make 2014 your best year ever, set forth a strategy & then do what it takes to make it happen!