We’ve made it. A new year is upon us, the board has been wiped clean and here lies another opportunity to make things happen!
I’m not a fan of New Years Resolutions because they are set up for failure. Think about it, you make a promise to yourself at the very beginning of the year, you struggle for a while to keep this promise and curse yourself when you don’t. In most cases, it’s forgotten within the first quarter. How effective can that possibly be?
New Years Resolutions fail because they are so general and seem bigger than you, isn’t that why you choose it in the first place? Significant change takes time and many small steps. I propose an alternative to New Years Resolutions.
Make 3 lists
A list of last year’s accomplishments – Which areas did you shine in?
Give yourself a pat on the back for these accomplishments, you’ve earned it! I like to pick out a specific reward (for me, a trip the spa is more than sufficient) and over indulge as a special reward. You can be your greatest enemy but you can also be your greatest supporter.
A list of objectives you didn’t quite meet – These are areas for improvement.
Being aware of these near misses will keep you on track and moving forward. What can you improve upon? How attainable is this goal? Can it be accomplished within the next year? Being very honest with yourself will help you know yourself better and set you up for success in the upcoming year.
A list of goals for the New Year – Both big and small but all attainable.
The trick to goal setting is always to set your sights on a finish line that you CAN see. Does your goal seem impossible? If you’re striving for a Pulitzer without having yet written a book I would say you’re aiming too high. What’s within your reach? The further the better, stretching yourself is a good thing but over-reaching can be disappointing.
Success would not be success without the bruised knee caps of failure. Your key to success lies not in trying to please everyone but being true to yourself. Recognizing your strengths and your weakness, choosing to change what you can and leaving well enough alone.
Need more advice for goal setting in 2011? Nikki Stephan and Chris Brogan shared their thoughts on New Years resolutions, check them out.
Happy New Year and Happy Monday to you!