Nearly half of people make New Year’s Resolutions. That’s a good thing, as many people are eager to make improvements in their lives by committing to hopeful changes and creating good, new habits.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of resolutions are broken, or forgotten about, by mid-February. The statistics say only half of resolutions get done. Which half do you want to be in?
I have a friend who is always improving himself through annual resolutions. It’s embarrassing to all his buddies, as us laggards can barely hold on to and complete a single personal goal. Even crazier, he takes a day – no, two days – and goes by himself to a hotel a few hours from his house, spends the evening contemplating his life and what he accomplished in the past year, and the next day he lays out his personal plan for the coming year. Ugh, a super-achiever.
Sadly, most of us plan our vacations with significantly more detail and gusto than our lives.
We should change that. Here’s how: Make just ONE resolution for 2020.
There’s a common way to make resolutions, or goals. It’s called S.M.A.R.T. You make the resolution Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time Based. There’s a lot written on how to accomplish SMART goals, and at our jobs, this process is effective. Working with my staff, we have planned and accomplished amazing goals to benefit our organization and customers. We are careful to make our goals specific, do-able, meaningful, and we put a deadline on it. The process works great.
At home… Sometimes I’m a bit of a loafer. I exercise enough, but need to do more. Ok, a lot more. I eat too much dessert and need to cut back. And as you might guess, changing diet and increasing exercise are the two most popular new year’s resolutions. In fact, January is the strongest month for sales of exercise equipment.
2020 is going to be different! Here’s why. First, I’m going to make the goal small – really “accomplishable.” Second, I’m going to remind myself of it throughout the day, every day. I’m going to make it part of my computer password. If you want to accomplish a goal, put it on your daily routine, making it your daily personal in-your-face headline. Put it in a password you use frequently. Want to run more? Make your password “runrunrun2020!” Want to eat better? “SmallDessert2020!”
Finally, I’m going to tell a few trusted people in my life to ask me about my goals on a regular basis. These are people that want the best for me, and I need their help. I’ll have them ask me about my goals every few weeks; not nagging, just reminding.
There it is: small goal, remind yourself daily, and ask others for gentle reminders. Improving our lives happens one step at a time.
Want a regular reminder of your goal(s)? Send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org with the reminder you’d like, and your email address. I’ll send you a monthly reminder. Let’s get this done!
And check out my book Connect! How to Quickly Collaborate for Success in Business and Life. You’ll get lots of great ideas for making your interactions more effective.