Res·o·lu·tion

25

MARCH, 2017

Noun   – a firm decision to do or not to do something.The Oxford English Dictionary

I know.  It’s March.  I’ve kind of missed the mark on the resolution blogs, but honestly, how many of you or your clients have already fallen off the wagon with your New Year’s resolutions?

So many of us start the year off with grand ideas about how this year is going to be different. We’re going to lose weight, eat better, make more money or get organized.  Our resolutions tap into the things we most want to change in our lives. We sit down on New Year’s Day, pencil in hand, and write our list of resolutions.

We enter January filled with conviction and energy. Then we hit February, the shine and luster of our resolutions is gone and we’ve realized we’re not keeping up on our promise to ourselves. We start to feel bad because we don’t have the willpower or energy to tackle the big tasks.  By March, the resolutions are often completely forgotten.

Why is it so easy to abandon our resolutions?

Because a resolution is often no more than a wish. A wish that our big issues would change.

Because a resolution is often no more than a wish.

Photograph by Neal Bates via Unsplash

Wish

Verb – Feel or express a strong desire or hope for something that is not easily attainable; want something that cannot or probably will not happen.

– The Oxford English Dictionary

So, what’s on the other side of an abandoned resolution?  A deep breath and a place to start over that includes forgiveness, turning your wish into a goal and a plan to make it a reality.

Forgiveness It’s really hard to move forward with a concrete goal if you (or your client) are beating yourself up because you couldn’t follow through with your resolution.  Being able to let go of the judgment and feeling of failure is the first step to starting again and setting up a goal with measurable results.

The Goal – A goal is something you can get behind.  It has definition and measurable results.  A goal is something you can achieve, know when you’ve arrived and measure your progress.

A 1979 Harvard Business study revealed that 83% of the population did not set goals at all.  14% of the population had a plan, but no written goals.  3% of the population wrote down their goals and reviewed them.

The results? The 3% that wrote down their goals were 30  times more successful than the ones who didn’t.

Set Goals – Write Them Down – Review Regularly – Revise – Repeat

The Spark

The Spark.

Photograph by Jakob Owens via Unsplash

How do you tackle a big goal?  Break it up into bite-sized pieces, be accountable and find support.  Below are 10 steps to help you and your clients reach your big goals this year.

1)    Define –  Work to set realistic, defined goals.  A resolution to eat better isn’t defined.  The goal to have 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day is.

2)    Focus – Limit your big goals to one or two at a time. If you disperse your energy and attention in too many places your results will take longer.  Put one or two goals in place before you move on to something else.

3)    Break it Down – Map out the path to your goal.  Break it up into smaller and smaller actionable steps until you have a daily or weekly action plan for yourself. If bringing in more clients is your goal, plan on increasing your networking time to 20 hours a month, drill it down to 5 hours a week and then define what organizations you’re going to join.  Go a bit further. Schedule which days you’re going to network and put it in your calendar.

4)    Be Accountable –  It’s so easy to avoid the tough work, and setting big goals and making them happen are tough work.  Be accountable to yourself (without judgement), or enlist a friend and colleague to help keep you on track.  Sometimes checking in and receiving a little encouragement or a bit of tough love is all we need.  Think about your clients, accountability is built into making an appointment with you. There’s a feeling of personal responsibility to show up and if they late cancel, they lose money. With a gym membership, the intentions are great, but if you skip, who’s going to know? And the gym?  If you have a membership they get paid whether you’re there or not.

5)    Celebrate your Successes –  Make it a habit to celebrate your successes, large and small.  I usually plan big rewards when I hit a milestone in one of my goals, like a spa day or a weekend retreat, but don’t forget to celebrate the little successes too. Have a friend help you celebrate when you tackled something difficult, treat yourself to a new book or an afternoon out at the movies.  It will keep you energized and motivated for the next steps.

6)    Acknowledge your Setbacks.  Life gets in the way. It just does. Kids get sick, you get sick, the car breaks down.  Life can derail us from even the most important goals. Acknowledge that it’s part of the process.  Let it go, reassess and move on.

7)    Review your Goals Daily Remember the Harvard study? The people who review their goals regularly were more successful.  Keep them handy. Post them above your desk write them in your journal or planner daily. Track your progress regularly and celebrate!

8)    Don’t wait until New Years – The beauty of a goal is you can set it anytime. Why wait for a one-second holiday to start on yours.

So, what was my New Year’s resolution?  To start writing a weekly blog post, beginning the first week in January.  The first subject? Goal setting for the new year. I may have missed my initial mark, but there’s always the first day of spring!  

Have any goals you’d like to share?  I’d love to hear them in the comments below.

So, what was my New Year’s resolution?  To start writing a weekly blog post, beginning the first week in January.  The first subject? Goal setting for the new year. I may have missed my initial mark, but there’s always the first day of spring!  

Have any goals you’d like to share?  I’d love to hear them in the comments below.

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