Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Keeping Your Resolutions

We’re heading quickly towards the middle of January. How are your 2013 resolutions working out for you? If you’re like many people your resolve is fading.

New beginnings can be inspiring. It is natural to look to the year ahead and think of  things  we’d like to improve. All of them are good ideas. The issue is trying to tackle too much at once.

I’m certainly familiar with giving up on an impossible goal. The resolutions themselves are fine. Shifting your approach can make all the difference. Take a good look at what you took on for the year.

Remember that every journey is a series of small steps. The bigger the change, the longer the journey. The longer the journey, the more you need to preserve your attention for ongoing work. You’ll only accomplish real change with sustained interest.

Look at the work you’ll need to do all year. On December 31st you want to be proud of what you’ve accomplished.

You have twelve months. Is that realistic? If it is then break the goal down into its monthly parts. Your goal will start to feel doable as soon as you take the pressure off this way.

Once that’s done break each month down into a goal for each week. Do this at the start of the month. Adjust based on how much you accomplished in the previous month.

You can take it a step further and identify what you need to do each day. For most people this won’t be necessary. If you like a lot of structure, daily goals will help keep you going.

At the end of each week, and month, take a look back and see how far you’ve come. Then take a look at any slack you may need to pick up. You may discover that your goal isn’t as realistic as you thought. Don’t give up, adjust it and carry on.

I started to work on my yearly goals in early December.  It’s been working pretty well for me this year. Having to stay focused over the holidays was good for me. Now, I’m even more excited about the changes I’m making.

Have you been making resolutions, and keeping them? I’d love to hear why, or why not.

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