The new year is around the corner and as 2012 flips over to 2013, so does your mind turns to the goals that you failed to achieve in 2012 and those you wish to achieve in 2013. This is a valuable time and must not be squandered. This kind of focus and desire for change may not return until another year had passed you by.
At this time of year millions of people are thinking about their life and planning ways to improve it. They’re making resolutions, promises to themselves that they will be better, look hotter, fulfill aspirations. Alas, many of them will fail; worse, many will not even begin trying. As is often the case, resolutions don’t stick but crumble away, leaving just the faintest trace of the powerful desire that was once there.
To give your resolutions that extra bit of “stickiness” I’ve compiled the following tips. I hope that they will help you to achieve all your goals for the coming year.
1. Write Them Down
Goals are fleeting; they fly away unless you hold on to them and tether them in your mind. The way to do that is with a list. Writing down your resolutions seems pointless: don’t you already know your resolutions? The answer is that you do know them . . . now. You may not remember them next week as life and all its demands swamp you with obligations and chores. The next time you may think about your goals will be in April and three months will have been wasted.
Once you write your resolutions down they’ll become more concrete. They will gain weight and will not be as fleeting. If you hang this list of resolutions at strategic positions around your home where you’re likely to come across them often, you will have a constant reminder of your goals and will be more likely to achieve them.
2. Share With Someone and Be Accountable
Being accountable to yourself is nice but no one is able to fool you better than you. You know which excuses work on you and which don’t; you have total and intimate knowledge of how to convince yourself to not pursue your goals as hard as you need to. You will not be able to fool other people quite as easily. You won’t want to: failing in front of other people is never nice. It makes you feel lousy.
This is why you should find someone close to you with whom to share your resolutions. You may also turn them into your accountability buddy who will administer some sort of punishment (nothing physical, of course, a donation to charity of money you don’t want to part with is a good idea) when you fail to work toward the fulfillment of your goals. This will force you to strive harder to achieve your goals.
3. Make Definite Goals
What are your goals? Are they abstract and obscure or clear and definite? A goal which is not definite is like smoke: it is hard to grasp, easy to disregard and it quickly evaporates to nothing. You need to be able to sink your teeth in to your goals. They must have substance.
For instance, wanting to “lose weight” is an obscure goal. It’s a general desire, but not definite. Wanting to lose 10 pounds is something else. You have a goal that you can measure, that you can judge progress on. These kind of resolutions tend to stick and produce more motivation.
4. Break them Down
Some goals are too big. They can’t be swallowed in one gulp. For instance, let’s say that your goal is to lose 100 pounds. Is this too big to tackle all at once? I think so. It seems daunting, frightening, next-to-impossible to achieve. It’s the sort of goal that will inject you with hesitation, lack of confidence, and paralysis.
When you have this kind of goal you need to break it down to smaller, less daunting milestones. For instance, lose 5 pounds twenty times and you will make it to a hundred. Taking small bites off your big goal is easier than swallowing it all at once.
5. Create a List of Action Steps That Will Lead to Achievement
You have an end goal. That’s awesome. Now you need to know how to get to it. Is it going to be done in one step? If this is a real goal it will probably take a bit more. You need a plan, a sequence of action steps that you can follow, something that will prevent you from getting lost along the way. This list must be written, clear, and the action steps need to be those which you can act upon quickly.
6. Start immediately
This is pretty straightforward. The resolutions you make are strongest at their inception. Waiting will make them weaker and diluted. Get started immediately. It’s the only way to achieve real success.
7. Be happy with an 80% success rate
Failure is a fluid term. It’s not black or white. For instance, say you want to lose 100 pounds in 2013 and you end up losing 80. Is that success or failure? I believe that it’s a great success because you’ve improved your life tremendously. You’ve taken a big chunk out of your total goal.
If you’re willing to be happy with an 80% success rate you won’t let any of the setbacks that are bound to happen derail you. You will keep going strong throughout the year. This can be the difference between a near perfect success and a complete failure.
I wish you the best success with your resolutions. If you know of any friend who will find this post useful please share it with them on Facebook or Twitter.