It’s that time of year again. We start getting up towards Christmas, the year is starting to end, New Years is coming up quickly and we start the dreaded New Years Resolution process all over again. Why do we do this to ourselves year after year??
For most of us, New Year’s Resolutions come because we’re being introspective and we’re thinking about the year and measuring ourselves and how we did. Therefore, our resolutions usually end up being things that we have not gotten around to completing or things that we have failed at throughout the year. “I’m going to finally stop smoking.” “I’m going to lose that 20 pounds I’ve been wanting to lose.” “I’m going to get in shape and actually do it this year!” There’s a problem with this though that usually just leads us further down the road of failure…. We have already failed at these things throughout the year! Now all of a sudden we’re going to succeed this time simply because the date changed? Hardly….
Here’s my suggestion… stop using the word “resolution.” It’s a horrible word. The word comes from “Resolve” and means “To make a series decision to do something.” Well that doesn’t sound so bad! Ahh…but it does. Making the decision is the easy part. C’mon, you do it every year. But making a decision to do something does not mean you will actually do it, particularly if it is a long process. Let’s take losing weight for example. You can decide (resolve) to lose 20 pounds. However you can’t just decide it and then “POOF” there goes the weight. You have to work at it and change your lifestyle every day for months! A decision will not do this. You would need to make that decision every day all day long over and over again for months just to be successful. This is, in a nutshell, why people fail at their resolutions.
Here at Presco we have a mantra that is oft repeated. “Failing to plan is the same as failing.” There is nothing that drives success like a well laid plan that is implemented with precision. Your plan needs to to incorporate effective goal setting and be focused on, specific, attainable, measurable and timed. With those strategies in place you can’t help but succeed.
Here are the five steps that will help you make things happen:
Step one: Question!
Break down your general goal and see what it will really encompass. Are you ready to do this?
- When do I want to lose this weight by?
- How will I lose this weight?
- What types of activities will I need to commit to in order to make this happen? How will my food preferences and diet need to change?
- How will this change my current lifestyle?
- Am I really willing to do this?
Step Two: Set Goals Not Resolutions!
Goals should be…
focused on… set a day of the week or a time of the day and renew your desire to accomplish your goal, talk with others about it, meditate about it, measure your success or whatever else is in your plan. You need to revisit that goal constantly so it is always in the forefront of your mind!
specific…each goal should be specific enough so that it can be stated, measured as complete and then marked as finished
measurable…you need to have your goal written so that you can easily measure it to check for success or not. Vague goals do not work!
attainable…it needs to be realistic! Can you actually accomplish this? Starting with “I’m going to do 200 pushups and run a mile every is probably not going to be very realistic… start small and work up to it.
timed…If your goal is “Do 25 pushups everyday before I brush my teeth,” you are holding yourself accountable to “Every day” and “Before I brush my teeth.” However if you just say, “I’m going to start doing some pushups,” you lose the entire power of that goal…
Step Three: Reframe Your Failures
Without honestly looking at our failures and measuring these we cannot know success. All of the most successful people have a string of failures behind them that built a foundation for success. There are really only two types of people. Those who fail and then continue to do so, and those who fail and then use those failures to build success. Everyone fails…
Step Four: Celebrate Your victories!
Feeling that thrill of success fires you up and gives you more energy so that you can focus on creating more success. Pat yourself on the back often! If you stay only on step three and constantly look at your failures you’ll never move through to success. Look at each of your goals and after reframing your failures, take the time to congratulate yourself on your accomplishments, even if these seem small and insignificant.
Step Five: Take a Day off
Sometimes the best thing you can do to get more done is do less…. yep, that sounds confusing. However, sometimes you need to unplug the phone, turn off the computer and get away to just reflect. I call it “marinating my ideas.” Just like cooking a steak, an idea is best served after a nice marinade and time for that process to work!
Hopefully this helps you! Happy New Year…