Many people make New Year resolutions around this time of year. Even though 2013 has technically started, there’s still time to set new goals, both personally and professionally, and achieve them. Here are five steps that should help you get what you want out of this year.
Step 1: Start with a meaningful, quantifiable resolution.
If you begin the year with little motivation to accomplish your resolution, then you’re guaranteed to quickly abandon it. That’s why any good New Year resolution must be meaningful to you.
Setting a goal because you know you should is not a good enough reason. One common example is “I will exercise more.” If you start the year with little desire to actually work out, don’t waste your time calling it a resolution. You have to want it.
Next up is quantifiable. If your goal can’t be measured, then how will you know if you’ve reached it at year’s end? For example, instead of making a resolution to “grow our sales this year,” a quantifiable, measurable business goal would be achieving 20% revenue growth every month and then coming up with specific strategies to achieve it.
Step 2: Create a plan.
Outlining how you plan to achieve your goal gets you closer to reaching it. You will likely deviate from you plan, but it gives you a starting point and some sign markers should you veer off course. It also signifies that you’re serious about your New Year resolution.
If you fail to figure out how you will achieve your goal, it’s likely that you won’t. It’s as simple as that. If you don’t have a plan, plan to fail.
Step 3: Think about what your resolutions will help you gain.
I love the new Special K commercial that asks, “What will you gain when you lose?” Instead of focusing on how to lose weight or what you’ll have to give up to do it, the company concentrates on the positive – what you’ll get when you shed a few pounds. Confidence, moxie, and pride are just a few of the positive things people gain when losing weight (and maybe a few extra years of life). Who doesn’t want those?
Considering how your resolution will positively impact your life will remind you of why you set this goal in the first place.
Step 4: Write it all down, and tell close friends and family.
Don’t skip this step. Please, don’t skip this. Having things in writing solidifies them. It also creates something tangible that you can refer to when you’re down.
During those rough times, it’ll be especially important to be able to see the things you brainstormed in Step 3. Then, you’ll remember what you can look forward to if you stick to your New Year resolution.
Telling friends and families has a similar effect – it communicates to yourself that you’re committed. Plus, people can hold you accountable in that moment when you need a good dose of discipline if you find yourself unmotivated.
Step 5: Do it!
Once you’ve done steps 1-4, it’s time to put the wheels in motion and get started. Stick to your plan, ask for help from others when you need it, and focus on the positives.
- Celebrate small milestones along the way.
- Periodically review your goal and your plan of action for reaching it to help you stay on track.
- Check out these 11 cool tools that help you stay on track from Forbes.
If you’re looking for some inspiration for business-minded resolutions, check out 10 Resolutions The Most Successful People Make And Then Keep.
Remember, you don’t have to wait for a new year to roll around to decide to create a resolution. Start today.
Most importantly: Don’t give up if you do backslide and mess up with a resolution. Just pick yourself up and start again. Winners never quit – they just keep on trying!
What have you found to be helpful when you’re trying to stick with your New Year resolutions?
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