Skip to content

UXL Blog

Creating Successful Leaders

Don't lie to yourself. You CAN keep your New Year's resolution! Image courtesy of careersingovernment.com

Don’t lie to yourself. You CAN keep your New Year’s resolution! Image courtesy of careersingovernment.com

It happens to all of us, doesn’t it? We start out the new year with the best of intentions: “I’m going to exercise and eat better!” “I’m going to get more sleep!” “I’m going to learn another language!” But by week 3 or 4, we start to lose steam. Then, February hits and the resolutions of the month before begin to fade. By mid-February, most people have given up their resolutions and carry on as normal…

It doesn’t have to be that way! You CAN keep your resolutions; you CAN make permanent life changes this coming year. How? Here are four steps to set you up for success, but ultimately it all boils down to you. Do you want to succeed? Do you want to make a long-term difference? Then you can, and you will. Let’s get started…

1. Don’t bite off more than you can chew

You might have lofty goals (and I’d certainly like you to achieve them!), but it is crucial to be realistic. Don’t resolve to go to the gym every day, only eat fruits and vegetables, and cut out television entirely if you don’t think those goals are sustainable. Don’t aim to go “all out” for a month, and then crash back into your old habits. It’s much better to work towards something (i.e. start by going to the gym twice a week, and then increase your attendance as the year goes on) then to plunge in and back out again.

2. Break your goal into twelve parts

A year may seem like a long time, but a month goes by in the blink of an eye. If you have a substantial goal for the new year, break your goal into smaller pieces so that you feel a sense of accomplishment each month. For instance, if you’d like to write a book this year, make a plan like this:

January: Complete book outline and attend one writing class

February: Write chapter one; attend one writing class

March: Write chapter two

ETC.

Don’t forget to reward yourself in some small way after you achieve your monthly goal!

3. Hold yourself accountable

There are a few ways to check in on your goal progress. One effective method that I’ve used is to enlist the help of an “accountability partner.” This is a person who will check in on you every once in a while and make sure you’re on track. This could be a close friend, your mother, a co-worker, etc.–someone who isn’t afraid to keep you on the ball. In turn, you can offer to be their accountability partner.

If you’re a more private person and would prefer to tackle your resolution solo, consider setting up a series of notifications in your Google calendar, iCalendar, or whatever program you prefer. Create an event that says something like, “Have you completed X this week? Keep going!” and set a notification to remind you of the “event.” These regular check-ins will help keep your resolution top-of-mind. Just be sure they aren’t so frequent that you’ll simply delete them without a second glance.

4. Make your game plan

Really, this should be step number one, but I’m closing the list with this one so that it’s the first thing you do when you finish reading this post. MAKE A GAME PLAN. Don’t go into the new year with a vague resolution and no idea how you’ll achieve it. Take the time to sit and reflect about your goal. Ask yourself why you want to make a positive change in your life and then ask yourself how you are going to make that change. The how is important. This is where all the action comes into play. How will you reach your goal this year? What steps will you take? How will you accomplish those steps. Only by really thinking about the logistics of your resolution will you be able to achieve it successfully. By crafting a game plan (and posting it somewhere that you can see if every day), you’ll start to turn a vague wish into a reality.

Start today! The new year is coming up and I’d love for you to dive into it with confidence, knowing that you have the tools to achieve great things this year.

If you’d like additional help creating a road map for this year, please give me a call anytime and we can discuss your strategy.

MARGARET SMITH IS A CAREER COACH, INSIGHTS® DISCOVERY LICENSED PRACTITIONER, FOUNDER OF UXL, AND CO-FOUNDER OF THE TAG TEAM. YOU CAN VISIT HER WEBSITE AT WWW.YOUEXCELNOW.COM

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

%d bloggers like this: