by Carey Ballard
Every year, after the glittery hats are put away and the champagne bottles are recycled, we settle in to make our list of resolutions for the new year – only to find that two weeks later, we have forgotten them, or worse, just flat failed. So you find yourself starting the new year with failure staring you in the face.
This year, instead of creating a list of 15 things you won’t adhere to in a month, we’re offering a different type of approach to creating resolutions. One that should help you not only be successful in keeping your plans alive, but help you feel loads better about the process that gets you there.
Step 1 – Write a list, then cut the list in half
If you think that there are six habits you need to break in 2015, stop right there. Having to make any more than three changes at a time is a letdown waiting to happen. Take your list of priorities, then pull out the top two or three that you think will make the most positive changes in your world and start there.
But you might be a massive over-achiever who says, “No way lady, I need at least 10 things changed in 2015.” While I applaud your commitment, don’t take on all 10 at the same time. Set a schedule for your changes. Focus on your top two first, and once they’re accomplished, move to the next two and onward and upward. Speaking of timing, we’re ready for step 2.
Step 2 – Create a timeline for each goal
This might sound boring or like something you don’t think you need to do, but before you run away, hear me out. If you want to lose 10 pounds or increase your company’s revenue by 10 percent, you need to clearly state how long you think it will take to get you there. And be realistic. If you are too aggressive with your timeline, it will just add to your frustration and it might create other bad habits in the process.
If you need a bit of help, there are some great apps out there to assist. 21habit created a great tool that allows you to track progress and even creates a financial incentive for your success.
The beautiful part about having attainable and time-bound goals is they are reachable. And reachable goals lead to my favorite of all favorite things – celebrating! So pop some bubbly, treat yourself to a new pair of shoes, order some new office supplies – whatever you fancy. Just make sure to note the occasion with something that feels special.
If you are one of the over-achievers noted in step 1 – treat yourself by adding on two new goals. I won’t judge you.
Step 3 – Make it public
If you really want to make sure you reach your goals, tell as many people as possible what your goals are in as much detail as you can. People naturally want others to achieve, so let them help you. Tell your partner that you are committed to getting to the gym three times a week for the next three months, and I’m sure they’ll be happy to help push you out the door.
Also, be sure to tell your community how they can help you. If you are looking for a way to increase your business leads by 10 percent, plug into a community that has knowledge in that area and be open and honest about what’s standing in your way, or more accurately, what has stood in your way in the past. Having a support system will not only provide knowledge that can be helpful, it can also provide some mental and emotional support, which is often even more important.
Want more tips for creating sticky resolutions? Here are four qualities your resolutions should have.
So get out there and take on 2015 with everything you have, dear reader. May your year be full of success, but more importantly, a lot of fun.
Happy New Year!