Many of us who are looking forward to the future have made New Years resolutions.
You know those grand plans that we come up with, that if we follow-through, will make our life more fulfilling. Unfortunately, they are also the same plans that are usually forgotten by the 3rd week of January. If you don’t believe this just check the classifieds in February for used exercise equipment.
Common resolutions like “Quit Smoking, Lose Weight or Save Money,” may sound great, but they aren’t very successful. Using the following 7 steps will help you design more powerful New Years resolutions.
1. Develop S.M.A.R.T. Resolutions
Specific: You must specifically and clearly identify your target because you need to know what success looks like.
Measurable: Clear destinations and checkpoints along the way provide stepping-stones, that are easily attained and provide victories that keep you motivated.
Action Oriented: Effective resolutions require action, they are doing resolutions, not being or having resolutions.
Realistic: You design resolutions to solve a problem or to achieve a dream. They should stretch you outside of your comfort zones, but if you make them completely out of reach, you are only setting yourself up for failure.
Timely: They need to be important to you at this time in your life, if it is not, you will not do the work necessary to succeed.
2. Identify what’s in it for you: If you are going to follow through with your resolution you need to be excited about the benefits it will bring. Visualizing yourself fitting into those jeans that “shrunk” or driving that new car are powerful motivators.
3. List the obstacles that stand in your way: Knowing what the obstacles are can help you determine how to get around them.
4. Consider who can help you: You need to carefully identify friends whom you can trust to share your goals with and who can check your progress and encourage you. These people enable you to maintain your focus and keep your eyes on the goal itself.
5. Consider what resources are needed: Knowing what tools and knowledge you’ll need to help you accomplish your goal will increase your chances of success.
6. Develop an Action Plan: There is something so powerful about putting your resolutions down on paper, but this is the step where most people fail. I think Denver Broncos football coach Mike Shanahan put it best when he said, “If you have a plan, and if you have your direction laid out. You can chart your progress to your dreams at each stopping point along the way. And just as important, all along the way you can see how far you’ve come”. Developing your action plan will give you the road map to your dreams.
7. Set a deadline for achievement: Resolutions without deadlines are only dreams. Deadlines are another powerful motivator. Also when you are setting deadlines add the phrase “on or before” ie. “I will acquire 20 new clients on or before July 1, 2009”
So this year make those New Years Resolutions stick, and reap the benefits. Because the best way to predict your future, is to create it yourself.