It’s two weeks into the new year. You set a lot of resolutions going into this year. Maybe they were just pretty words instead of clear aspirations for the future. Maybe you only set them to go with the trend. However, you can make those resolutions work for you.
1) Do not quit at the first speed bumps on your road to resolution success. Some of you throw in the towel at the first sign of resistance to your goals.
I ate a pizza today instead of sticking to my meal plan. Therefore, I’m quitting this diet plan. I got home too late to work out so I’m giving up exercising more as a resolution. I can’t afford to buy healthy food or get a gym membership so I’m not going to get more fit and healthy this year. I am surrounded by junk food at the office and I can’t stick to my plan.
Sound familiar? Many of you are great at making a list of excuses and failures. That activity is fruitless and harmful. It reinforces your negative thoughts about why you cannot succeed. Stop it! Instead, say I’ll make better food choices next time or I will exercise at the next scheduled time. Yes, I said scheduled exercise, but we will talk more about that shortly. Understand that it is not the speed bumps or challenges but your attitude about them that can kill your resolutions.
2) Put it on the schedule! It is really simple. What you give your time and attention to indicates your priorities. If exercise is not on the schedule, it will not happen. No exercise, no weight loss or muscle tone or improved cardio vascular health. Similarly, if personal development or studying are not on your schedule, it is highly unlikely that you will do these activities. Consequently, if your long term goals are dependent on these activities, then failing to complete them means failing in your long term goals. Successful people schedule it. They are committed to doing the day to day hard work that it takes to achieve their goals. That should be your mindset for resolutions which are actually just goals set on a 12 month schedule. Resolutions are your goals for what you want to accomplish by December 31 of 2014.
3) Make your goals clear, concise, and measurable. This really works. If you can track it, you are more likely to stick with your resolutions. It is not enough to say that you want to make more money in 2014. You need to be specific. By December 2014, I will have increased my income by $500 per month. That is the Long Term goal. What short term goals do you need to set to cheive that? Do you need to set the short term goal of selling X number of Y product each month? Maybe your goal is to be able to run a 5k this year and you are barely able to walk 50ft. That is your long term goal. Your short term goals may include: getting a trainer, enrolling in a Couch to 5K program, walking 100ft/day, walking 1000 steps a day and working your way up to 5,000. You get the idea. Tracking these goals may be as simple as marking them down on your schedule or using a biotracker like FitBit or a pedometer.
4) Use all the tools you need to stick to and acheive your resolutions. Data is key to the experiment of creating the new improved You. Gaining when you thought you planned to be losing? Look at your data! You may find that you are not burning as many calories as you had been and/or you are consuming more calories than you needed. You may also discover that as your physical ability or skills improve, you are doing more and having more successes. It’s in the data! That data will also provide you with opportunities to reward yourself for reaching short term goals, motivation to persist at your goals when times are particularly challenging (and these times will occur). You can look back and say, “Wow, just two months ago, I could not do A,B,C and look at me now! If I stay on this course, then I will achieve D next!” Being successful becomes addictive in a good way.
5) Accountability. You are accountable to yourself, but it helps to be accountable to someone else. Who do you trust with your goals and dreams? It does not always have to be a paid accountability partner. Can you identify a mentor or success partner to help you with your business, health, or financial resolutions? It could be as simple as a friend who will hold you accountable on your shopping so that you do not overspend and you stick to your resolution to grow an emergency financial fund. Weight loss accountability is proven to work for millions either in the name brand programs on the market or free online groups or developing a weight loss support group at your work. Some people may see accountability leaders as harsh task masters and punishers. That is not the goal. Yes, you need someone to remind you of your goals, to refocus your and redirect you when you veer off course. You also need someone to encourage you when your energy or motivation is flagging. Accountabiity partners can also push you to step outside of your comfort zone to try new things, to stretch yourself.
So, go for it! Rock your resolutions! Revise them if need be using the guidelines above. Make 2014 your year of success!