Lose weight; spend less money and more time with family; don’t text while driving, etc.
More than 40% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, yet only 8% actually achieve them. If you set resolutions and are unsatisfied with your January results, shake it off and read on…
- Brief is Better– Many people set overzealous goals. For example it is practically impossible to quit smoking, lose 20 pounds, spend more quality time with your family and enroll in an evening graduate school program. Instead, shorten up your list of resolutions. Ask yourself, “Which of these would have the greatest positive impact on me personally and professionally?” Then rank the resolutions and choose the three with the highest payout. By refining your list, you are narrowing your focus, reducing pressure and positioning yourself for optimal performance.
- Reality Check– It is critical that the resolutions you set are actually attainable; otherwise, you are merely setting yourself up for failure. If you have set a resolution to lose 50 pounds for the last few years yet never achieve that goal, consider reducing the number of pounds. A lot of people join a gym in January and diligently work-out, improve their nutrition and make other lifestyle adjustments. Once they skip a few work-outs or indulge in their favorite dessert, they give up—for the entire year. Revising your resolutions based on what is realistic is the only way to realize them.
- Partner Up– Consider asking a co-worker, friend or relative to hold you accountable to your goals or partner with someone to achieve them. For example, if you have been praying for a promotion and hope this will be the year you receive one, look at your last review and focus on the areas where you need the most improvement. Next, choose the method; perhaps reading books on the subject or taking a course that focuses on those skills. Check-in with your partner weekly or monthly and report what you have learned and how you are progressing. Engaging someone within your organization as a mentor to help you improve your work performance is also a viable approach. Either way, having a partner to hold you accountable will fuel your fire to perform.
- Do Not Dwell– The past is over, but each day we can begin anew. Dale Carnegie once said, “Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.” By revising our resolutions so that they are concise and attainable, we are simply learning from our mistakes and recalibrating our recipe for success.
Resolutions can be set any day/month/quarter of the year, so revise them based on your unique goals and limitations whenever you realize something needs to change. There are infinite resolutions to choose, but there is only one ‘u’ in resolutions.