Six months ago I wrote a price regarding New Year’s resolutions. I’d like to follow up to ask whether or not readers have followed through and are making good on the promises they made at the beginning of the year. If you find yourself as one of the individuals that has put together a plan of action and you’re moving forward – good for you! If not, what happened?
Understandably, many individuals renege on their promises made at the beginning of the year. Many factors can be the culprit. From not having enough time, not making goals a priority or simply lacking a plan of action, many folks struggle to make their resolutions a reality. So how do we get back on track? Or better yet, how do we even start?
The good news is that while making good on the resolutions does take work, the plan of action is relatively straight forward.
- Write down your goals. This is more than a simple “wish list” or things you aspire to do. Rather, your goals should be detailed, dated, specific and actionable. For example, a wish would be me saying “I want to save money for retirement.” That statement lacks clarity, specificity, and direction. Instead, I can write down “I save $5,500 per year to my Roth IRA. I do this by saving $458.33 monthly with automatic deductions from my checking account.” Here. I’m accomplishing the goal of saving money for retirement and I’ve given myself a specific number, and a way to take action.
- Very often I hear the excuse that there’s not enough time in the day to do this or that. The problem is that if we continue to let ourselves believe that thinking, we’ll be right – and our goals won’t be achieved. Instead, why not ask ourselves how can we make the time? By asking ourselves how we can accomplish a task our brains go to work trying to figure out what it will take to succeed. Do you need more time in the day? Try setting your alarm clock one minute earlier each day for a month. Bingo! An extra half-hour of time and little effort to get there. Want more time to start a hobby, spend with your family, etc.? Turn off the TV and social media. Better yet, get rid of your cable package (it’s easier to turn off the TV when you’re not paying for it) and delete your social media account. Again, it comes down to priorities.
- Just do it. Nothing happens without action. The best laid plans and goals are worthless unless we take action and make progress. Think of it this way: The Mona Lisa, Sistine Chapel, Mount Rushmore and many other glorious accomplishments all started as ideas with goals. However, they wouldn’t be present today without action. Commit yourself to working on and toward your goals on a daily basis. Every little bit gets you closer and closer to their realization.
- Learn, revise, reset. Inevitably, goals will be achieved, missed and changed. It’s important that if you fail to meet a goal that you haven’t failed overall. It may mean you need to take a different approach. Failure is a good thing. It’s how we learn. Perhaps some revisions need to be made, new details added and different action taken. When a goal is achieved, celebrate and then get back to setting more goals. This builds momentum and it’s infectious. It becomes hard to stop your progress and much easier to say no to things that will inhibit your achievement.
2016 isn’t over by a long stretch. Sit down today, now, and write out a few specific goals that you’d like to achieve within the next six months. Then get moving.