New Year resolutions don’t have a very high success rate and for this reason many people opt out of making them at all. Stop blaming yourself! Blame your process! When you fail to plan, you fail to win. Reaching a goal takes hard work. And, the work begins before you even set your goal! There are 7 things you can do before you set your New Year goals that will increase your chances for success:
Look at the big picture. Think about how your goal will impact your whole life. You may have to adjust your schedule. One of my clients who is a working mother decided to go back to college and now incorporates “Study Saturdays” into her weekend plans for her and her daughters as a way to bond AND take care of business at the same time.
Realize YOU will have to change. A goal usually involves many lifestyle changes you will have to make. If your goal is to improve your marriage, and your plan includes a list of all the things your spouse will need to do – you need to revise your plan. Think of what you can change about yourself. When you change yourself for the better, everything around you changes for the better too.
Understand that change is a process. Making a change involves going from: not thinking about the issue, to thinking about it, then preparing for it, acting on it and finally maintaining it. It's important to understand that change is a process and realize that relapse is a common. When you experience a set back, commit to bouncing back to action and don’t slip back into denial.
Don’t be afraid to resolve. Making a resolution is empowering and you can’t fail at it. When you express your decision and determination to do something, you are now thinking about it and that is a great first step.
Ask yourself WHY you resolve to reach your goal now. Dig deep and challenge yourself to uncover the reason your goal is important to you and others. This gives your goal meaning and purpose, and will help you when you are tempted to give up.
Get prepared. You can’t just jump in and expect to reach an important goal. If you are thinking about starting a business, first do your homework to find out what it will take to get your company started and make it a success. Read a book or watch a documentary of a successful entrepreneur you admire. This knowledge will help you set the right goals and strategies for success.
Experiment with change. Before you even set your goal, you can begin to experiment with change. Think about the lifestyle changes that you need to make to ensure your dreams come true. Pick one thing, make a simple plan, and get started. Experimenting with change takes the pressure off - if you succeed or fail - you have learned something valuable.
Doing these 7 things will help you set the foundation for success. You are alerting your mind and body that it's time to work. This puts you in the right position to set and achieve your New Year goals!