Ok, Christmas is over, the presents are opened, we have gained a few pounds from cookies and Christmas dinner and deserts. I’m sure many of you are tired from watching your new big screen TV. While your sitting at your chair, have you began to contemplate what your next years goals are or New Years Resolutions will be? Heck, I bet some of you, your list is complete and ready to go. For many of us we could sit down and write out our New Years resolutions in two minutes, if we had to.
Well here is my list, albeit not very detailed or exciting, it’s what I am feeling today and need to work on for next year. I need to lose some weight, start exercising more then I have been. Kick back on some meals, and certainly decrease consumption of sweets. My biggest one, is work harder on my procrastination issues. My resolution list is not that bad, but looking at my to do list, it grows every month. I wish I had time for all the things I want to get done. Now, is the time to organize that list and prioritize it.
So, have you decided what you want to work on for January 1? How do you make a list that you can stick to and not repeat past resolution failures? One thing I learned, is not to have to many items on your list, have a few and make sure that you work on those. If you have a list of items that you know you can accomplish, then by all means write them down. One of the major problems we face, is that we have a list that is a mile long. Your list may well intentioned, but if its impossible to succeed at any given item on that list, then you are doomed to fail. So, don’t add that item and go on to things you can do.
Let’s look at typical New Years Resolutions people often make. How about the, “Oh, I need to lose weight” resolution. I think most of us would agree we need that in our list. So, how do you go about making that happen? Do some research that would give you tips and suggestions to help you lose weight. Go to the library and look at what they have in as far as weight loss. You need to make sure that your plan for your New Years Resolutions has research to go along with it. Why do you want to lose weight and why? Just saying I want to lose weight, because one of your friends says that is one of her resolutions for the New Year, is not necessarily going to work for you. This resolution will probably be the first one you break after having 10 salads in a row. The donut behind the counter will temp you away. I am saying know why you are making your resolutions and keep to them, that is key to being successful.
Make a list that is realistic, not a pie in the sky list. Believe me some people I have worked with, will have on their lists impossible tasks. One guy had gain 35 pounds in 6 months. He was a skinny dude, with no meat to his bones. I asked him why? He said that he wanted to gain weight and not look weak and small anymore. I thought to myself, hey..I have 40 pounds I would gladly give you. I told him that his weight gain was not realistic. Maybe focus on a 10 pound gain. he was fine with my suggestion, but how discouraged would he have been if he didn’t gain 35 pounds of weight?
Plan stages of following your New Years Resolutions, have an accountability partner to help you along the way. Make a phone call, if you feel that your going to cheat or need their encouragement to keep on course. You don’t have to do this alone. After you start your resolutions list, make a plan to go over your list once a week, keep tabs at where you are at. Make notes and do research to keep you on course. Be active and creative in making your plans work.
The hardest resolution I have ever made was to read one book a week, I was going strong for 4 months, then I was getting a little behind. I was feeling guilty for not keep this resolution. I love to read, I have a quote that I say to myself. “Leaders read”, how many leaders do you know that have their noses buried in a book, or journal? Most of the people I know and admire are readers. I stuck to it, but it was a commitment that helped me the most.
In closing, for your New Years Resolution, plan ahead, take some time writing what you want to accomplish for next year. If you cheat, or fail, don’t let that stop you from continuing on your with your resolutions. We all fail at one time or another, just get right back on track and do the best you can. I have failed at certain times, and I know it happens. Happy New Year!