I have never been one that creates a new year’s resolution each year. I don’t know if it was because I didn’t want to disappoint myself when I didn’t follow through or if it was because I just didn’t grow up creating resolutions. (Maybe my New Year’s resolution should be to have a New Year’s resolution.)
Many people aspire to lose weight in the New Year. It completely makes sense after you’ve been pigging out since the end of November. After all the meat, casseroles, cookies, pies, and eggnog, you feel like a balloon come January! So you are ready to hit the gym and shed that holiday weight…or maybe even a little more. Whatever the case may be, you know it is time to start going to the gym and get fit.
The gym I attend is usually busting at the seams the entire month of January. However, as the months go by, the gym begins to get less and less crowded. I will admit that I kind of enjoy the gym when it’s less crowded. I can use the equipment I want and find a decent parking spot. But the other part of me is sad that those people didn’t keep at it. What made them stop? Why did they give up? Was it because they weren’t seeing their results quick enough? Or was it something else?
Resolutions aren’t just for your waistline. Many businesses start their new year fresh by creating new goals for the coming year. However, while I think the idea of creating resolutions each year is good, I also think they can be a little overwhelming. They can be difficult to maintain for the next 365 days. You might start off strong but many eventually taper off throughout the year. We shouldn’t let ourselves become disappointed when our resolutions end up in the trash.
I think the problem with those who create resolutions that get abandoned, don’t have a strategy in place. Whether you are a large corporation, an entrepreneur, or someone just looking to make improvements to your life, you need to create a strategy first. Otherwise you are likely to desert your resolution(s) before the year is over.
If you want to stick to your resolutions you need to create shorter goals throughout the year. Perhaps those people who stopped going to the gym needed short-term goals. Would that prevent fewer people from quitting or getting off track? So what about creating new resolutions (goals) for each month? What about creating goals for each quarter? However you choose to break it up, make sure they are manageable goals. I think the smaller the better. There is nothing wrong with taking baby steps to achieve your goals. Each step will get you closer and closer to your goals.
I always think the first step in the right direction is to write down your goals. It doesn’t matter where you write it. It could be on your phone, computer, piece of scrap paper, or even a napkin. Since it is 2016, I would think many would prefer to keep them on a cell phone or perhaps in the cloud somewhere. I’m old fashion and still use pen and paper. You can’t very easily erase pen. It is more permanent.
Your goals should be kept somewhere where you can see them often. Perhaps you could create a fun photo with your goals and use it as your wallpaper on your phone. That way you are sure to see it every day and depending on how often you look at your phone, it could be seen numerous times throughout your day. If you are feeling really crafty you could make a vision board with images and text to describe your goals for the new year. Hang it in your home somewhere where you will see it often. Visualization is extremely powerful. When you focus your attention on what you want, you are less likely to stray. Specifically with vision boards, it activates the law of attraction by turning your goals into reality.
I am a believer in a rewards system. If you stay on course, you should be rewarded for your progress. What rewards would motivate you? You should take some time to think of ways you can reward yourself or team for their advancements.
I urge you to be cautious with your choice of rewards. If you are trying to lose weight, you probably shouldn’t reward yourself with binge eating. You need to stay within reason. Perhaps you have a small slice of angel food cake or yogurt parfait with fresh berries. Something nonfood related could be treating yourself to a massage or going some place special. If you are looking for ways to reward your employees, you could give them gift cards or allow more flexibility with their work schedule. Celebrate your steps forward that makes sense for you or your business.
Another way to stay motivated is by telling your friends and family about your goals. You can even include them to help you stay accountable. If they happen to have the same goals that you do, it can even add a little competition into the mix. If you are like me, this will push you even more!
I am definitely not perfect when it comes to following through with goals. It happens to us all at some point. But if the New Year has taught us anything it is that we can ALWAYS get back on track and keep trying. Let’s stay motivated this year by creating a strategy for your resolutions and short-term goals.