I can’t believe that it is already 2018! Now that the holiday festivities are over, we all think about how to become a better, fitter and more successful person.
And, if you are like most people, you started this year with New Year’s Resolutions – a whole scroll of them from being a more successful entrepreneur to losing weight.
And I can bet that this list probably makes you anxious each time you look at it, and by the end of January can actually make you feel hopeless.
But there is a way to make you a New Year’s Resolution Champ!
A New Strategy for Resolutions
It is important to remember that the new year isn’t meant to be a catalyst for a sweeping character overhaul.
The new year is a great time to re-evaluate the last 12 months, and make firm resolutions to be more productive, manage your time better, learn a new skill, bring in more clients, increase revenue—a whole host of things that will make this year your best year ever.
However, experts who study these rituals, tell us that by the end of January only about 10% of people are actually keeping their resolutions. That means that 90% have already failed at the end of 30 days. Are you one of those failures?
“Setting small, attainable goals throughout the year, instead of a singular, overwhelming goal on January 1 can help you reach whatever it is you strive for,” says psychologist Lynn Bufka, PhD. “Remember, it is not the extent of the change that matters, but rather the act of recognizing that lifestyle change is important and working toward it, one step at a time.”
I know that you don’t want to falter, so let’s lay out a roadmap that will make you among the 10% who actually succeed at achieving your goals this year.
Why Resolutions Fail
There are many studies as to why we don’t make our resolutions into reality. After reviewing a number of them, I have found that there are ten common reasons why 90% of individuals fail and they include:
Not writing resolutions down on paper
Going it alone
Not enough knowledge to map a plan
Lack of focus
Those inevitable obstacles
Emphasis on negatives, not positives
Just as we have been told that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, every successful project or achievement, no matter how large, is nothing more than the sum of little actions, pursued diligently, over and over again.
By making your resolutions realistic, you will have a better chance of making them a reality.
Successfully Achieving Your Goals
A good goal is one that has meaning for you—not what you think you “should do” or believe others want you to do. When the going gets rough, if you don’t really have a burning desire to achieve your resolution, you’re going to quit.
Whenever you set a goal of any kind, you should always put it in writing. If it is not written down, it’s only a good intention—not a goal. In fact, if it isn’t written down it usually gets forgotten—the reason why New Year’s resolutions are failed within 30 days.
And put your list in a place where you can constantly review it and keep it top of mind.
Next is to “just do it.” We all have emotional blocks or barriers that hold us back from achieving what we want. The key is to be decisive, not to procrastinate and to do something every day that takes us closer to our goal. The real magic is to choose to enjoy every step forward.
While we all know that we shouldn’t procrastinate and we shouldn’t quit after hitting an obstacle or two, many don’t realize how important support is to successfully reach your goals.
It has been consistently demonstrated that the chances for success for any endeavor increases dramatically with the level of support:
- So if your resolution is to write a book, find a writers group.
- If you are a business owner looking to expand business, join a referral network where you can share leads.
- If you are looking to make a career change, find a mentor or a coaching organization.
A support group is essential in helping you see the big picture, be accountable, give you encouragement or just providing ideas you had not thought about.
Finding the right support group can mean the difference between success and failure.
You Need a Detailed Plan
Success is not an accident. It begins with a well-conceived plan. If the goal is to write a book this year, then you have to resolve to write 3 pages each day or to do research for one hour every day.
For any goal you have take the time to identify and analyze the issues, then write out an action plan for accomplishing each task. Don’t be afraid to invest in tools and resources that can facilitate this process and save you time.
Actionable goals must be specific and measurable. “I want more sales” is too vague and is not a measurable goal. I will increase my revenues $10,000 each month is a specific and measurable goal to which you can identify the actual steps needed to achieve successful results.
Positive Reinforcement is Essential to Success
There will be problems along the way. You will have trouble getting up an hour earlier to write your book, or hitting your sales goals.
You need to have a plan for dealing with problems as they arise, rather than looking for excuses to quit. Getting a trainer, joining a support group or coaching program may help you in determining what you are doing wrong.
You need to celebrate each milestone to provide positive reinforcement and keep you motivated, especially when you feel like quitting. Determine what is right for you—dinner at an exclusive restaurant, a massage, new clothes. Make it fun and worthwhile, so it is a real motivator.
Make sure your plan gets regular tune-ups. To be successful, you need to refer to your plan constantly to remind you of your goals and to keep you on track.
But in this chaotic world, things do change, and sometimes they change rapidly…by regularly assessing your plan, you can determine whether it needs some refinement to make it work for you.
Don’t set impossible goals, this will only disappoint and discourage you. Keep to-do lists, and mark off tasks that you’ve successfully completed. Not only will this habit help you keep your New Year’s resolution, it will also improve your life in a great many other ways.
Steps for Success
So if you want to become the top 10% and achieve the goals and resolutions you set, follow these seven steps:
First, only make a goal that’s important and meaningful to you.
Second, be specific about what you want to achieve and state it in measurable results.
Third, create a detailed, realistic plan for accomplishing your goals.
Fourth, write it down and refer to it regularly. Hang it where you can see it every day and reassess your plan at regular intervals.
Fifth, get into an action mindset. Jump right into your new lifestyle or habit right away, just do it now.
Sixth, find a partner or group to work with in keeping your plan on track and you motivated.
Seventh, use positive reinforcement and reward yourself when reaching significant milestones.
If you follow these steps you will find that at the end of this year you will have revolutionized your life! Always remember that the choices you make are the world you live in—make yours a great one!
Diane Weklar, the Authority on Accelerating Business Growth, is the CEO of the Weklar Business Institute. She is the author of the award winning book, Mastering the Money Maze: 10 Secrets to Winning Business Financing,which is also an Amazon #1 Best Seller. This book provides practical insight to build a successful business and the practical steps to raise capital to help your firm grow. She can be reached at Diane@Weklar.com.