Well the New Year is finally here. I hope that you are looking forward to saying good-bye to 2020 and saying hello what 2021 has to offer as much as I am. The beginning of a new year gives us a chance to start begin anew. Just like sowing seeds or new plants in freshly tilled soil. The New Year also brings the tradition of making resolutions.
For most us, resolutions don't really work. Studies have shown it. While stating what you want to see happen in your life is always a good idea, many times things don't change. I am a big believer in setting goals but have always had issues making them a reality. Life is busy and does get in the way. But 2018 was a game-changer for me as far as achieving the goals I had. Did I achieve all of them? No, but I did achieve some and in the process found a way to turn my resolutions into reality.
Read on to find out the 5 things I did to Turn Resolutions into Reality
1. Set Time Aside to Reflect.
I like to go somewhere quiet away from my usual surroundings. A coffee shop, the library, a park bench.
First take a look at where you are. I take time to write down what was good about the previous year - what I did achieve. Then what I wanted to achieve but did not.
Next decide on what you want to achieve in the coming year - how you want things to look at this time next year. Be really descriptive and paint pictures in your mind. Imagine the balance on your credit card at zero, working for your favorite rescue two days/week or taking the trip you've always dreamed of.
2. Know Your Why
It's easy to list things you'd like to do or see happen but without a clear why it's hard to keep going when life gets in the way. Having a clear Why written down with each goal can remind you why you started on this path in the first place and keep you motivated.
3. Plan a Reward
My significant other lamented one time that it seemed like the minute we achieved one goal we were on to the next. He was so right! It is important to take time to stop and celebrate the wins or life can feel like one giant hamster wheel. So for each goal be sure to plan a reward and follow through on it when you achieve your goal.
4. Make Time to Continually Track Your Progress
If you don't look at your goals and your progress on a regular basis things will fall through the cracks and you will end up frustrated at this time next year. This happens to all of us. It's just too easy to fall back into old habits. Days turn into weeks, weeks into months and before we know it, the year is almost over. Instead of waiting til year's end to review where you are, review on a weekly basis. Doing this helps you to adjust throughout the year. Write down what worked well, what didn't, and what the plan is for the next week.
5. Decide How You Are Going to Track Your Progress.
This is where everyone gets tripped up. It's easy to write down your goals and hope they happen. What is not easy, is looking at those goals every day and taking small actionable steps toward achieving them.
I struggled with this for years. I tried all kinds of on-line and off-line systems. What I found is that while I love technology, trying to track my goals via some type of software or app was not for me. I love to write (with a pen) or draw and find that writing helps to solidify thoughts and steps in my brain. I also needed somewhere to write quick notes throughout the day and a calendar that was right in front of me on my desk.
I finally found what I was looking for in Michael Hyatt's Full Focus Planner. Michael is a well-known CEO and now writer, speaker and coach. He constantly fine tunes his system for focusing on and achieving goals. (NOTE: I am not affiliated with Michael nor do I receive any compensation for recommending him or this planner. This is simply what is working for me.) Here is a link to find this planner: http://fullfocusplanner.com
The planner comes in bound journal. Each planner covers 90 days so it works well with the principles I learned about in the book The 12 Week Year. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CU9P31K. The premise of this book is that breaking a calendar year up into quarters and working to achieve quarterly goals has shown to yield more success. While you may have 10 goals for the year, studies have shown that you can only effectively work on 3-5 of them at a time. Setting quarterly goals and focusing on them for 90 days helps us to achieve things more quickly.
The other reason I like the planner is that Michael has recorded a series of short videos (each is less than about 10-15 min) to show you how to use the planner and work effectively on your goals.
The choice of what to use to track your goals is highly personal and what works for me might not work for you. The important things is choose something and adjust as needed.
I hope these tips get you started on your way to achieving your goals in 2021.
Happy New Year!