A brand new year looks like an artist’s canvas before a single brush stroke has been painted. Or the morning after fresh fallen snow, before a single person has left a mark. The possibilities seem boundless and open. Past years are behind a fresh one awaits.
It’s in our nature to look at that new year as an opportunity to start again. To re-set our ways, forge ahead on a new path to create the success we’ve always envisioned for ourselves. To that end everyone makes resolutions at the beginning of the year. Unfortunately, as paint hits that empty canvas and boots track back and forth through that fresh snow, those resolutions often get lost in the noise and business of day to day life.
You make resolutions for a reason. Because you see areas of your life you want to change or get better at. Here are a few tips to help you create resolutions you’ll be able to keep from falling to the wayside.
Share your resolutions
If the only ones who know about your resolutions are you and your cat, then there’s really no one keeping you accountable. By sharing your resolutions, you will be inspired to stay on track not only for yourself (and your cat) but also for everyone who knows your plans.
Not only will they keep you on track, those people you shared your resolution with will become your support network. They’ll cheer you on when things go well and they’ll offer encouragement when times get rough.
It’s a scientific fact, people behave better when they think others are watching. By sharing your goals and putting yourself under the eye of others, you will be more inclined to stick to your resolutions.
Often resolutions fall off the radar because they’re too broad or too big. In order to follow through on your goals, they need to be specific, tangible and attainable. If your ultimate goal is to become rich, then your resolutions need to be stepping stones toward that goal.
What is the main stumbling block that’s kept you from attaining your goal in the past? Do you have a problem with time management? Do you have trouble getting up early in the morning? Do you feel like your introversion holds you back?
Pick a single thing that you want to change and create a resolution you know you can keep. For example, if you have trouble speaking to people then your resolution could be something like I will make a point of speaking to two people I have never met every single day. The resolution is easy to monitor and keep track of. It’s attainable and over time it will contribute to your overall goal of mastering your introversion.
Create a reset button
If you find yourself straying away from your resolutions that doesn’t mean you need to give up on them. Give yourself opportunities to start again throughout the year. For example, the beginning of a new month is a chance to start again. Or a birthday, or an anniversary. The New Year is a great time to set resolutions, but it’s certainly not the only time. Remember a dropped resolution can be picked up again any time!
Question your resolutions
Sometimes the way to get results is to challenge yourself by stating your resolution in the form of a question. For instance instead of saying, I will build a business with twenty employees over the next twelve months, ask yourself, How can I build a business with twenty employees over the next year?
Think about your question. Approach it from different angles. How will I do this? What do I need to do in order to achieve this? Why do I want to do this? Answering these questions will make your resolution more tangible. Now that you’ve looked at it from a variety of perspectives, write down the steps you need to take to answer your questions. Those steps are your resolution. Set timelines to achieve them and follow that through the year.
Acknowledge your achievements
In order to stay motivated to follow through on your resolutions over the long haul it’s a good idea to reward yourself periodically. Set up a schedule from the onset. When I achieve X I will reward myself with Y. Create a map of rewards that will take you from the beginning of January through to the end of December.