Resolutions are goals we established at the beginning of the year about changing our actions or behaviors during the coming year to improve the quality of our lives or health. Most New Year’s resolutions are about dieting or getting into shape, discontinuing unhealthy habits (e.g., smoking or overspending), spending more time enjoying life or family, and/or improving our finances.
Despite the seemingly strong commitments we make to these resolutions, most of us lose the resolve to achieve these goals in a very short amount of time. Research indicates that 1 of every 4 resolutions is broken within the first week, and over 50% are broken within the first month. For those of you who have not yet given up or lost the resolve to achieve your goals, rather than just making resolutions as a tradition, I challenge you to make plans to achieve your goals.
Plans are organized steps of definitive actions used to achieve goals. Plans demand movement. Plans demand a commitment to action, rather then just a statement of desire, or of intent. Make that commitment now. Get your organizer, smart phone, calendar or whatever you use to help manage your time, and develop a plan of action with dates for achieving your New Year’s goals.
Tips for developing your action plan:
- Set Realistic Goals. Make sure your goals are achievable within your life demands.
- Choose One or Two Goals. Choose one or two things that are important to you, that will really make a difference in your life.
- Make Achieving Your Goals a Priority. Schedule consistent time to devote to achieving your goals. Schedule the same time on a consistent basic so that working towards your goal becomes part of your routine. This will make it more difficulty to forget.
- Acknowledge Potential Challenges. Be honest about what may cause you to stumble or discourage you. Develop a strategy for managing these challenges or discouragements.
- Hold Yourself Accountable. Share your goals and plans for achieving them with a friend or partner who will encourage and support you.
- Celebrate the Small Successes. These mini-successes will be encouraging, and allow you to measure your progress towards your goal.
- Don’t give up. The goal can be achieved at any point during the year. So if you experience a set back or start to feel discouraged with your lack of progress, remember the year is not up until December 31.