Implementing change is a common notion for the New Year. Resolutions or better commitments are made to hopefully improve the upcoming year. Statistics show that over half of the commitments (resolutions) made at the beginning of the year are dropped or broken within the first six months. So how can we make resolutions that will accomplish the changes we need? Les Brown says, “We may not accomplish every goal we set – no one does – but what really matters is having goals and going after them wholeheartedly.” In other words, be willing and ready to fail with the mindset of getting back up to try again no matter what.
1. Know Why – I once had a co-worker that did things only because everyone else seemed to be successful at it. He didn’t care if it fit him or not he just did it because it worked for the other person. Our resolutions should be made on what we value and really desire.
Decide what you really want to achieve and write it down. Don't be too concerned about what others want for you, if it is not in your focus for bettering you. Make goals for yourself. Try to be specific and realistic about what you want to achieve. For example: "I want a new job," is an open-ended dream compared to, "I want to work at FedEx headquarters in Memphis, TN as a manager." The more you can narrow down your goals with details of the passions within you, increases your chance for successful goals.
2. Know When – Often times I have set goals at the beginning of the year but had not really set a deadline when I wanted to reach my goals. This mind set caused many of my goals to be lost and forgotten due to just burn out and just everyday life.
Put a time limit on your goals. Sometimes to do this requires you to break up large goals into smaller ones that you can manage and gauge the progress. For example, if you're a freshmen in college, don't make your goal to graduate this spring. Your goal requires four years or more of consistent work. You present goal should be to get an “A” on the assignment you currently have; then to pass the class and so on and so forth. Consider the requirements needed to accomplish what you've set out to do and make your goals realistically connect.
3. Know Action – Many great plans never get acted upon. We might know “why we should do it” and “when we should do it”. But acting on our plan today and the days that follow require long term diligence. Zig Ziglar said this about action, “Setting goals helps to bring our future into our present because in the present is where we take action.”
Make everyday a day of "action" on the plan. If you really want to accomplish your specific goals, review them daily. Set a regular time to evaluate. (e.g. First thing in the morning, first fifteen minutes in the office, and/or a moment before going to bed.) Don’t be afraid to tweak and refine your goals as you act upon them you are bound to learn something with every act.
Summary – If you are making resolutions for the New Year and want to be successful, keep in mind - why the change is needed, when the change is best, and continuing acting out the desired change. Someone once said, “People with clear written goals accomplish more in a shorter period of time than people without them can ever imagine.” Go reach your goals today!