Creating a New Year’s Resolution for many is a critical part of their personal success plan. I often hear people speak about setting goals, creating plans, and most importantly making decisions about their future based upon their past ( a true reflection ). People will often ask me how to create a plan for the New Year and it is best described in the following way: Start with a quiet place. A place where you can think and reflect. It is important to know if you are contemplating business resolutions or personal resolutions.
For personal resolutions we will look at things such as relationships, health, finances, housing, children, marriage, hobbies and set goals to achieve them. It is important to evaluate where you think you currently stand ( as a number ) in each section. You should set a scale from 1-10. Where you are on the scale and what would a number 10 look like? These goals should be obtainable with a personal plan – for example: if you want to lose weight and you know 60 pounds is the goal, you need to determine if losing 60 pounds is obtainable and what steps it would take for your success. The 60 pounds would make that resolution a 10 at year’s end.
Another resolution for many is paying off debt. I would recommend creating a realistic budget ( Equity First LLC can help at no cost ) and assessing the best plan to be debt-free. It may be that the credit cards are not the problem but the student loans- make a plan to expedite paying the student loans only. I often recommend to a client that they should have at least three obtainable resolutions and a plan to go with each. It is just as important to take time to think about the negative experiences in the past year. If you do not recognize them, give value to them you can not make sure to avoid them again.
Many of my clients are often victims of giving money to friends, drinking too much and others make plans and then do not come through. It is important to identify where you may have veered off track and keep a tight hold on it. It is OK to make changes, sometimes these changes on the surface feel difficult but ridding yourself of toxic relationships, business practices and cycles of poor behavior is the pathway to a clear understanding of who you are. Many people get lost in wanting to be the best for everyone else, a resolution is a time for you to make changes to be the best for yourself.
Business resolutions are very similar but often time blended with the personal. I am self-employed so for myself, many of my business relationships are also my personal relationships. Often important and impactful decisions on this level are very challenging. I can recall a few years back, I wanted to make a big change for the new year with my business. I had a large staff and several large contracts. These contracts paid very well and my staff was amazing, life was good. I identified when I assessed the relationship that the stress and pressure of maintaining the account were taking a toll on my health and my family. I made a bold move to not renew my contracts and laid off my staff, who were like family.
I re-designed my business model that allowed for me to reduce my client intake, offer better service and it freed up time for me to spend with my family, and do more volunteer work for the community, something I am very passionate about. I did take a financial setback but I created a plan to address how I would handle my finances, discussed this plan with my husband, and together we were much happier with less chaos and money but more time with the family. Common business resolutions may be to add more networking contacts, land more contracts, increase revenue, add a location, or since the pandemic, just stay in business.
The New Year is an exciting time of year, staying in the positive is the goal. There are 365 days to make a change until 2022 – let’s do it together and let’s do it right.
I’ve seen countless people succeed at losing weight, getting out of debt, improving their health, and increasing their grades. I’ve also witnessed many people give up on their goals. In fact, a study conducted by researchers at the University of Scranton found that 23% of people quit working on their resolution just two weeks into the new year. And only 19% of resolution setters stuck to their goals over the long haul. Here are 7 great tips for keeping your resolutions, again should you start to lose track of your goals, or are unable to put a viable plan together, do not hesitate to get in touch.
1. Create measurable goals.
Don’t bother creating a vague resolution like, “I want to get healthier,” or “I want to be happier.” Some days you’ll feel as though you’re reaching your goals, but other days you won’t–and an intangible, vague goal will cause you to feel lost. Create measurable goals like, “I want to go to the gym 3 nights per week,” or “I want to see my friends 2 times a month.” Then, you’ll have a clear target to aim for.
2. Identify clear tasks and an action plan.
You can’t lose weight or get out of debt without a distinct plan that will help you get there. Create a plan that includes objectives that will create change. Whether you are going to eat a salad for lunch every day or you’re going to stop shopping for chocolate until you’ve lost 20lbs, commit to tasks that will help you get closer to your goal.
3. Set yourself up for success.
It’s easy to feel motivated early on in the process. But after a week or two, your motivation will naturally wane. To prepare yourself for that dip in motivation, set yourself up for success well in advance. Make bad habits inconvenient and good habits convenient. For instance, put your “cookies” in a hard to reach place. Keep your workout gear packed and ready to go. You’ll be more likely to do things that feel easy, even when your motivation declines.
4. There are always obstacles.
There will always be temptations and obstacles that could easily derail you from your resolution. It may be an invitation to dinner that could blow your budget–or your diet. Or it may come in the form of a special project at work that leaves you with fewer hours to devote to your goals. Think about the obstacles you’re likely to encounter in the first weeks after establishing your resolutions. Consider how you’ll navigate these challenges, and develop a plan to overcome the obstacles that have plagued your previous efforts. Planning ahead for the probable challenges can help you feel equipped to handle the unexpected obstacles that crop up along the way as well. For instance, if you know you have a hard time with will power, don’t even buy the cookies, go shopping once a day for the calories or food you can have, or subscribe to a food service that delivers healthy alternatives in only the quantities you need. Some people find success by purchasing a second fridge that is just for their own healthy food and never go into the family fridge.
5. Start when you are ready not on a specific day.
There’s no need to launch your resolution on January 1st. In fact, starting on January 1st, 2021 might put you at a disadvantage. Start working on your goal when you’re ready. That’s not to say you need to wait until you feel fully confident before starting (that may never happen). But make sure you’re committed to the goal, and you’ve thought through what you’ll need to do and how you’re going to do it. Whether that means you start on January 3rd or you wait until mid-Spring, don’t create a resolution just because you feel pressured to do so in January. Create a resolution(s) that you can keep.
6. Keep track your progress.
You need to know if you’re headed in the right direction. So it’s important to find a way to track your progress. Use an app or a calendar to check off the days you work on your goal. Or create a chart, spreadsheet, or graph that helps you visualize your progress. BUY A SCALE! and just do not buy it, measure your daily progress, and track it. When you’re able to see how you’re doing and the steps you’re taking, it can remind you how far you’ve come. Reviewing your effort can also help you stay on course when it feels as though you’re not making any headway (which is common). Keep in mind that progress doesn’t always come in straight lines. Sometimes, things get a little worse before they get better–but this doesn’t mean you should give up.
7. Learn from your mistakes.
Mistakes are part of the process. But too often people think one mistake means they’re destined to fail. When you make a mistake–like you skip the gym for a week, or you make a ridiculous impulse purchase you can’t return–learn from your misstep. In fact, one study showed that people who were successful in maintaining their resolutions tended to slip up at least a dozen times. The vast majority of these successful individuals said they’d found ways to turn their mistakes into opportunities to grow stronger and become better.
Commit to Making This Your Year for Lasting Change
If you’ve struggled to keep your resolutions in the past, don’t lose hope. With a little extra planning, you can change your destiny -and ultimately change your life. Commit to making 2021 the year that your resolution is going to stick.