Like so many of my friends and family I have created a list of New Year’s Resolutions. I look back and see how close I came to some of the resolutions that I laid out for myself from last year, and start again. Some of my resolutions seem to be the same from year to year. I never really got to them other than to write them down. Others, I started but never finished. So this year, in addition to writing resolutions – I am implementing strategies to make sure that they do not just become wishes that are not achieved at the end of the year. The strategies I am going to implement include:
1. Set Realistic and Compelling Goals. I have made goals for myself in the past that are so beyond the scope of what would be actually achievable that there would be no possible way to actually achieve them. When you set a goal that you are really interested in achieving you will do all that you can to make it happen. What I find extremely important in this is trying to figure out WHY I want to achieve said goal. Understanding the reasoning behind it help set that emotional drive to get it done.
2. Break It Down. There is an old saying that asks, “how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” That same can be true for achieving any large goal or resolution. No, you will not likely lose 20 pounds in one week. But rather by making small incremental changes over time. Simple things like choosing not to have three cookies but only one or parking a bit further in the parking lot forcing you to walk a bit more. Break your big goal down into smaller do-able action items.
3. Review Regularly.I have written four days on my calendar (about quarterly) to review how things are going. Am I moving toward my goals? Are they still important to me? Have I hit the break it down mile-stones? I have already put these dates in my calendar so I can check in with myself. I have set reminders to myself. Time seems to move very quickly and if you are not careful to review – the resolutions could get beyond what is achievable. (Although to be honest some of my resolutions – things like crossing something off my bucket list can be done in one day).
4. Adjust Accordingly. Based on how you are doing toward the big goal. Adjust adjust adjust. Can you lose more weight? Can you spend more time doing something fun? After the review – you may need to adjust up or down. You may be surprised at how much you really can achieve.
5.Celebrate Success. This is where I falter the most. I am not really good at celebrating the little things. But when you do, you encourage yourself to achieve more. You buoy yourself to continue to achieve more and stay the course on achieving your goals. Get someone else in your corner to help you achieve – then you can celebrate together! It doesn’t have to be a party or anything that costs a lot (and I can’t usually afford that anyway). Plan a trip to the mall to see if a different size of clothes fit. Buy a new workout outfit (further motivation). Count your money (if saving is part of your resolutions).
Good luck on achieving all you dream of! What are your resolutions? How do you plan to achieve them? How are your resolutions different from what is on your bucket list?