Now with that behind us, we are all looking on to a new and hopefully better year.
If you are like me, you will make several New Year’s resolutions and stick to none of then longer than a week or two -if that long.
I recently had this very knowledgeable and motivating article sent to me from a fellow writer who had read my column on ‘Procrastination” and I guess figured I could use some well deserved advice. I was also asked to share it with my readers as well.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did -just think maybe this year I/we will be able to stick to at least one of my/ourresolutions by following her advice!
(By Monica Carter Tagore of Shreveport,)
Each year about 100 million Americans make New Year’s resolutions, hoping for a fresh start and a better life. But most give up and settle back into doing the things they’d rather not.
In fact, anywhere from 80 percent or more resolutions fail, according to surveys. But you can stay away from that statistic this year if you follow ten key tips to having a successful New Year’s resolution.
Figure out what you really want. Set goals for things that are truly important to you, those things that have real meaning.
This means don’t set a resolution because someone else thinks you should or because it’s just a whim. If the resolution doesn’t mean anything to you now, it certainly won’t mean anything to you when living up to it gets tough.
Get clear about how big of a change you want to make. Most goals are not specific enough.
To be clear about your resolution, you must quantify it. That means defining whether your goal is to lose 10 pounds or 100 pounds, whether the goal is to save $10 a week or $100 a week. Be specific.
Set a deadline. If your goal isn’t very well defined – in other words, there is no deadline – it can be difficult to know how hard you should be working to reach it.
If you don’t set a deadline, then you’re not really serious.
Dates are benchmarks to keep us on track. Even if your goal is related to a long-term or lifestyle change, set some deadlines for having done certain things.
Get around the barriers. Let’s face it. If it were easy to meet your goal, you would have done it already.
But often our goals include challenges. Be realistic about the potential pitfalls or barriers standing in the way of your success.
Make a list of as many barriers as you can think of. Then write down as many ways around those barriers as you can. This is a way to be proactive when it comes to your goals, so that when something gets in your way – and it probably will – you already know how to handle it and stay on track.
Plan for success. You can’t leave achieving your goal up to chance.
Create a doable plan. Go through the steps necessary to make the goal happen and then put deadlines next to when you will accomplish each thing (remember, we’ve already talked about how important dates are). Write down the plan.
Move on it! Many people spend too much time planning and not enough time doing.
Once you’ve outlined your success plan, it’s time to pursue it.
Don’t wait for everything to be “perfect” or for everything to be convenient. It won’t happen. Just start working on the plan and keep working on it.
Tell somebody. When you have a goal you really want to make happen, that’s no time to be mum.
Tell a supportive friend or family member about your goal and your plan.
Being accountable to someone – and to your goal – is another way to help make sure it happens. After all, you don’t want to lose face, now do you?
Set yourself up for success. Create an environment for success.
Sometimes the reason we don’t achieve our goals is that we’ve sabotaged ourselves.
We let stay in our environment all those things that are harmful to our goals. So get rid of the trouble.
If your goal is to lose weight, for example, then you’ll want to clear the pantry of the empty snacks that packed on the pounds in the first place.
If your goal is to get to work on time every day from now on, then you’ll want to plan for the morning the night before so that your clothes are out and ironed, the alarm is set, no time-sapping tasks are standing in the way of you getting out of the house in a timely fashion.
Keep your focus. Lack of discipline is one of the reasons people give for failing to reach their goals.
They become distracted by everything else going on. So to prevent that from happening to you, set aside some time every day to work on your goal, even if it’s not a lot of time.
Regularly review your progress, based on your plan and your deadlines you’ve set.
If you fall off, get back on. If you have a slip-up on the way to achieving your goal, don’t dwell on it.
Slip-ups happen (remember our list of barriers?) Acknowledge the slip-up, and then get back to work.
Dwelling on shortcomings only creates negativity and encourages a feeling of helplessness, which in turn increases the likelihood of giving up.
So shake yourself off and keep moving on. And look back at item number four to brush up on ideas for how to deal with barriers.
If you incorporate these ten tips into your New Year’s resolutions, you can turn your wishes into real goals and your goals into done deals!
If you set the goals that are right for you, create a plan to achieve them and get to work on making them happen, you can begin to grow your list of accomplishments.