It is just me, or is January first really the wrong time to make New Year’s resolutions? Honestly, you still have plates full of homemade cookies, or Aunt Brenda’s famous fruitcake, so if weight loss is one of those resolutions, you’ve lost it as soon as you open the fridge. At least that’s how it works with me.
But I still make them. Resolutions, that is. You probably do, too. Because a New Year is beginning (or has begun) and you want to have those goals to work towards. You want to tick something off that list-of-things-to-do. You want to get to the end of this year, look back, and say, “I did it!”
How do you maintain? How do you get through that first week, and then the second one, and third … and finish strong? If you – like me – have made some resolution for 2016 and are already finding your resolve wavering, here are a few tips for starting off well, sticking it out, and staying committed.
- Don’t think “year” … think “today.”
No one can determine that they will stick with a plan for the entire year; 365 days loom higher than Everest. But you can decide to stick with your plan today. You can send that email or start that project or put down that donut (really, back on the plate) or book that conference today. And tomorrow, you can take the next step. Not a leap, not a mountain-scaling marathon, just determine that you will keep your resolutions today.
- Aim for the stars.
This might seem to contradict the previous counsel of taking it one day at a time … but we all need a dream. What’s your dream? That big, almost-scary goal that you weren’t quite so sure you wanted to set because you have no idea how to accomplish it? Maybe you want to see your business grow double, or triple. Maybe you want to diversify your income. Maybe you want to see the Taj Mahal. Dream big! Your horizon will stretch to fit those crazy dreams and audacious goals … because your mind wants to close the gap between what is and what can be. When jotting down those resolutions, add in something huge!
- Differentiate hopes from goals.
We all have those hopes: becoming a bestselling author or making it on the “who’s who in business leadership” list. Hopes are different from goals. So yes, keep those hopes, and do what you can to make them happen … but make sure you know the difference between your hopes and your goals. One is nice-if-it-happens; the other is I-need-to-make-it-happen.
- Make a plan for the goals.
Goals need to be concrete. You should be able to determine daily, weekly, and monthly actions to reach those goals. If you create a plan to reach your goals, they are no longer vague hopes. They are your accomplishments of tomorrow.
So what are you waiting for? Make it happen today! And Happy New Year!
Grow Big or Go Home!