How many times have you decided upon resolutions and given up by April? And then you feel like a giant failure? You get really hard on yourself, right?
Your goal was to lose weight, so you decided to eat smaller portions or stop eating carbs. Then by March, you’re at an Italian restaurant with friends scoffing down pasta fra diablo! You consider your goal a complete failure, so you give up!
New Year's resolution success is not a black & white thing.
Achieving your New Year’s Resolutions is not cut & dry. It’s not uncompromising. Resolution success depends on a couple of essential factors.
- Establish your long-term goal, then set up your short-term goals.
- Think of your path as a ladder with steps.
- Mentality. Failures along the way, in reality, only prop you up. They don’t pull you down.
- Write down your plan.
- Measurement. You must measure your success.
- Reward yourself.
Resolutions are goals; let's design them accordingly.
Create your long-term objective, and then figure out what shorter-term goals you need to get there. It’s easy.
Here’s an example:
Say you want to save money. That’s your long term objective (LTO)
Here are some short-term objectives to help you get there:
At present, you spend $800/month on food, and you want to make it $500. So you buy flour instead of bread & make your own (it’s easy.) Take one restaurant night off the calendar and save $75 by cooking a restaurant-style dinner at home. You make your own coffee 4x/week.
Write down your plans & create a chart where you can write down how much you spend.
Mentality & Resolutions
Resolutions don’t need to be an all-or-nothing game. Every little advancement towards your long-term objective is a win.
Let’s say you resolve to be more successful at work. Your short-term goals are to communicate better with your boss, your team & at meetings.
Let’s say you discover that the way to be more successful is to focus on being concise. You start preparing a few messages in advance, removing filer words & redundancies.
Then suddenly, your workmates are attending to you and following your recommendations. (Whereas before, they just interrupted you and didn’t seem to care for your ideas.) Whoa! Being concise is a giant step towards being more successful at work!
“But, on the whole, tho’ I never arrived at the perfection I had been so ambitious of obtaining, but fell far short of it, yet I was, by the endeavour, a better and a happier man than I otherwise should have been if I had not attempted it.” — Benjamin Franklin
When people are compelled by your ideas and follow your lead, you get promotions and a salary increase.
Nobody was born an incredible communicator, a charismatic influencer. They worked to get there. It’s the most important thing you can do for yourself.
Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t achieve your long-term objective of having executive presence or eliminating filler words from your speech. Master each action in the step-by-step process to achieving those long-term objectives.
Charts, Measurement & Rewards
Let’s say your LTO is to get healthy. So you decide to start eating better, then on January 7, you eat a donut–despair! But it’s not time to throw in the towel. It’s time to measure your successes and try to figure out what precipitated your minor setback.
Create a chart with success on the left side of the page and missteps on the right. You’ll likely notice straightaway that the left side has many more entries. We need to be scientists about this–not emotional creatures! 🙂
Consider the missteps to be teaching tools. Had you starved yourself that day (and, as a result, became an irrational donut-eating monster? Now you know that you have to eat a bit more frequently.
And maybe next time you want a donut, you can promise yourself that you’ll have half & only after a handful of delicious sprouts.
Let me know your tricks for keeping your new year’s resolutions in the comments!