New Year's Resolutions... How to Keep Them!

The New Year inspires beginnings and resolutions. I love the energy and motivation that come with moving towards growth, health and wisdom. Research shows that you are 10 times more likely to achieve your goals if you are explicit in setting resolutions, but also warns that most resolutions don’t lead to desired outcomes. It seems that only 8 to 20 percent of those who set resolutions achieve them. How can you then beat those daunting statistics and be the one who attains your goals?

Set realistic and practical goals and operationalize them- be specific in the behavior that makes them happen! Know and remind yourself frequently why your resolution is important to you. Most importantly get organized, be accountable and find inspiration! To stay organized and on task, use apps, daytimers, project planners or other organizational tools to help you step by step plan for your goals. Consider hiring a coach (me!), join a support group, or buddy up with friends to both lift each other up and or to hold each other accountable. Lastly, heed Voltaire’s famous quote, “Le mieux est l’ennemi du bien,” which roughly tells us to not let perfection stand in the way of good.  

Your goals should be discrete, easy to define and practical.  If you wish to “lose weight,” perhaps resolve to track your food, sign up for a tried and true diet program, or set workout goals. If you want to make a career move, set out to send two resumes a week and attend one job networking event a month.  To save money, commit to two weeks of journaling expenses, and then one month where you cut out three superfluous regular purchases, selected intentionally from your two-week expense journal. By setting goals that are real life activities, rather than lofty objectives, you stand a much better chance of creating new habits which promote long lasting change.

Knowing why you set a resolution and why the change you seek is important, helps keep you on track. The “why” frees you to prioritize the goal and to do what’s necessary to achieve it. When you have received blood work revealing warning signs of heart disease, improving your cardiac health (the why) can be very motivating - making it easier to keep your resolution to exercise more regularly.  You aspire to a managerial position at your company - you have always dreamt of being a leader in your field and could use the salary bump as your oldest goes to college in just 5 years (the why) - but you lack the credentials on your resume to make the move. You resolve to complete those final 4 courses of your bachelor’s degree. Keeping your dream and motivation in focus, you are more likely to attain your goals.

I love teaching and coaching organizational skills. Even the most challenged can truly make measurable progress in a short amount of time. How you organize around your resolutions depends on your goals. If you aim to build that proverbial six pack and you set food tracking goals to monitor your macros, then there are an array of apps out there ready to support you. If your goals have to do with how often you attend to a work responsibility or a hobby, then develop calendaring skills that create efficient and effective time management. If improving important relationships is on your New Year resolution radar, effective organizational skills and strategies can have a very positive impact.  Making time to do something fun with a difficult teen, creating date night with a partner despite the fatigue and stress that comes with new parenthood, or becoming the kind of leader at work you always wished you had- one who is accessible and available to her team are all more likely with good organizational programming.

Build yourself a team, one that both holds you accountable and inspires you!  Most of us do better when held accountable in some way, and when we have someone rooting us on and even lifting us up when we falter. If you want to finally make that century ride, explore if any of your cycling friends want to partner with you in planning for it? If your resolutions require addressing ADD or other related challenges, explore support groups so you will feel understood and less alone and can learn best practices from others who understand your journey. Hiring a coach, counselor, or trainer can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. By engaging professional support on your team, of course you improve your chances of attaining your goals. But when you work with someone whose primary focus is EMPOWERING U and helping you tap your own potential, the outcomes can be exponential. Literally! The skills you develop in meeting this year’s resolutions, remain with you to be applied to all the endeavors in your life yet to come.  

Finally, don’t let perfect get in the way of good. Typically those who expect perfection, are inclined to stop when the outcome isn’t perfect or when one faces setback - even when things are  GOOD!  Life is messy, but that doesn’t necessarily impede progress! Contact me to see how I can help you keep those New Year’s Resolutions!