A tip of the hat to my LinkedIn friend, Pearl Seigel, who inspired me to post this after I read her piece. We all know New Year’s Resolutions are a time-honored tradition and a satirical cliche. With best of intentions millions make them and most break them. Why bother? It’s a new year—why not have goals, aspirations, resolutions?
Defy the satirists, the late-night comics who make light of your resolve with these tips:
- Make a plan for success
- Research—find out how to get there, pitfalls and success stories online or in books.
- Action—incremental steps you need to take
- Monitor—check results as you go along
- Forgive yourself for shortfalls as you proceed and move on from them
- Resolutions may be the butt of jokes, but if you really want to accomplish something in the new year, don’t be put off by their bad reputation. Change the name to goals or determinations if that will help. Then pat yourself on the back when you win.
- Consider these examples:
- Want to lose 36 pounds? It’s simple math: calories in plus calories burned equals pounds gained or lost. Eat less, exercise more and the pounds come off. Pick a diet you can stand and exercise you will do. Make sensible monthly goals, keep track of results and don’t let bad months derail the plan. Recognize triggers that may cause excessive snacking and deal with them.
- Want to stop smoking? You know it’s difficult. Get the help you need from a physician, a support group or from whatever source makes sense for your life. Pick a method and get the tools you need, whether it’s a nicotine patch, some medication, counseling, etc. Most people can’t quit cold turkey, so monitor progress on the timeline you determine.
- Want to learn how to quilt, paint (artistically) or even write fiction. Find classes—adult education, community college, online and sign up. Don’t just put this on a to-do-list—put reminders on whatever calendar you use—physical, smartphone or computer and take action.
- Want to be a “better you?” More considerate, support your spouse more, help the kids with homework, etc.? Like the rest of the resolutions, it requires being consistent and disciplined. It may help to have specific targets—tasks that you can do to make those goals real and obvious to others when they begin They won’t happen overnight. They won’t happen just by wishing. But if you set up reminders for those times that the changes are supposed to be happening—dinner-time, holidays, weekends, vacations or whatever times apply, you will have a better shot at success.