The time has come to make resolutions for the new year. Just about everyone makes promises to themselves to accomplish some goal in the New Year, whether it's to lose weight, keep the house clean, take vitamins, or start a new business. Unfortunately the vast majority of people don't follow through with their resolutions. Why? It's true that a lot of people procrastinate on various projects throughout the year, yet we still manage to accomplish a lot. Why is it so difficult to keep New Year's resolutions? I believe one reason is that we choose the wrong resolutions to make, and the other reason is poor planning.
Here are some tips on choosing and keeping your resolutions:
1. Resolve to do something that's actually important to you. If you choose to do something that is actually important to you, you'll be more likely to make your resolution a priority and stick with it. (For example, you cannot lose weight or stop smoking unless you actually want to.)
2. Make specific goals. (For example, instead of saying, "I'm going to lose weight," say, "I'm going to lose 25 pounds.")
3. Make realistic and obtainable goals. It's okay to aim high, but pick something you can actually do.
4. Take a few minutes to write down your resolutions on paper. Consider posting the list on your refrigerator or at your desk, or some other place where you can see it. You'll be much more likely to do the items on your list if you see a constant reminder.
5. Create a plan of action. Think about how long it will take you to achieve your resolution and what you'll have to do to make your resolution a reality. Then write it down. One main reason a lot of businesses fail is because they do not make a plan; the same can be said for resolutions. When writing down your plan be very specific. Consider creating a timeline for your goals: What do you want to accomplish by the end of January? By the end of May? (and so forth)
6. Keep a calendar/planner. Keeping a calendar can be a helpful tool for you to write down your goals in, and a calendar will help you to chart your progress.
7. Make an extra effort in January & make the resolution a part of your daily/weekly routine. Just like with anything else, the first few days and weeks are the toughest. But after you've made your a plan and made your resolution a part of your routine and you've gotten in the habit of working on your resoultion, the rest should be a down hill effort. (For example, if you resolve to take a multi-vitamin everyday, and you decide to take your vitamin first thing every morning, then after just a couple of weeks, the resolution should be second nature to you. This concept will also work with other resolutions that are a continuous effort, such as quitting smoking, changing your diet, keeping your house clean or organized, exercising, ect.)