If last year’s resolutions were ancient history by mid-January, you may want to consider a new approach this year. First, let’s take a look at why resolutions don’t work; then we’ll discuss some strategies that will bring you the results you seek for a new start in a new year. Why Resolutions Fail:
- Unrealistic or unattainable goals
- Expectation of overnight change
- Small backslides are viewed as total failures
- Achievement of a resolution consumes so much time and energy that the resolution maker feels anxious and unhappy
A Better Way: Six Tips for Success in 2006
- Forget resolutions—make a plan. Nobody accomplishes anything of significance by trying to do it all at once. Most people want to magically move from point A to point Z, but don’t have even an outline of a plan to get from point A to point B, and from point B to point C and so on. Break down lofty goals into manageable small steps and your likelihood of success increases tenfold.
- Focus on your strengths. It’s easy to focus on what we haven’t yet accomplished, rather than on the positive steps we have taken toward achievement of a goal. The energy you waste thinking about what you haven’t done will only slow you down. Celebrate every accomplishment, keep the momentum, and look toward the future. Maximize your strengths and minimize your weaknesses. And always keep in mind that backsliding doesn’t mean failure.
- Learn something new. There is no better way to continually evolve as a human being than to make a commitment to life-long learning. I meet people everyday who act like they have nothing more to learn. But even the most accomplished among us doesn’t know everything. Education provides a pathway to success. I believe you can never be too educated. This year, take a class about something of interest to you, be it personal or career oriented—you’ve probably been meaning to but haven’t gotten around to it. Ask yourself, “If not this year, then when?”
- Live gratefully and give something back. Be aware of the wonderful things in your life and find an outlet to give back a fraction of what you enjoy. Consider becoming involved with a charity, animal shelter, church group, mentoring program or career training center. Giving back enables us to gain perspective on all that we have and how we can become even more successful.
- Surround yourself with positive people. Spend time with people who support your goals and endeavors. People who bring you down or focus the negative side of things create roadblocks to your happiness and success.
- Take time for yourself. You cannot achieve any goal if you are uninspired, overworked and out of balance. Be good to yourself. Read one of those good books you’ve been meaning to get to. Return to a hobby you’ve always enjoyed. Make sure you schedule time to get the exercise you need. Spend time with special friends. If you are not constantly enriching your mind and your soul, you can’t grow. And isn’t growth what New Year’s resolutions are all about?.