For many people, making New Year’s resolutions has become an important annual tradition.
Making resolutions allows you to start fresh without feeling like you’re having to disentangle yourself from much—after all, the year just started.
FYI: “Resolve” means to decide firmly on a course of action.
Me, I’m more a “one day at a time” kind of guy—I think any day is a good day to reboot and reset goals if things don’t seem to be going the way I want.
That said, I did join in on Chris Brogan’s exercise of choosing 3 words to inform the year’s activities.
My words for 2015 are: simplify. maximize. clarify.
However you choose to frame it, I think goals and clarity are useful.
And while I am aware of the statistics that tell us 70% of all resolutions fail within the first 3 weeks, if you’re ready to make a commitment to a new behavior for 2015, here are my ten tips (+ two bonus tips) to help you stay on track.
1) Make Only One Resolution
Focus on one aspect of your behavior, then leverage that momentum for your next goal.
2) Write it Down
Goals in black & white get you out of your head. Take it a step further and make a vision board.
For those not familiar with vision boards, this site will get you started. In addition to step-by-step instructions, there’s a video at the bottom of the page.
3) Avoid Previous Resolutions
Set your sights on something fresh and you’ll steer clear of frustration and disappointment.
4) Make A Resolution True To Who You Are
Identify what you want out of life and create a resolution to get you there.
5) Break Your Goal Down Into A Series Of SMART Steps
SMART = Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic & Timed.
6) Share Your Resolution With Others
Accountability outside of yourself geometrically increases success.
7) Choose Something Positive
It’s much easier to do something than to avoid something. Focus on the benefits you’ll enjoy.
8) Reward Yourself
Whenever you achieve a milestone, celebrate.
9) Set Deadlines
The only difference between a dream and a goal is a deadline.
10) Keep A Journal Or Other Record Of Your Progress
An addendum to SMART goals—this keeps your plans and progress concrete. If you prefer paper and pen, your local bookstore should have a nice selection for you to choose from. For those who would like an e-journal or e-diary, Penzu is an option.
11) Expect To Backslide
Treat any failure as a temporary set-back rather than proof of failure.
12) You’re The Only Person Standing In Your Way
You are the only person who can control your life.
Want to take your resolution a step further?
Post your resolution here or share it on my Facebook page so both myself and or community can support you in your process and success. Tweet it out: #resolution
One of the pioneers of professional organizing and productivity, Andrew Mellen is the best-selling author of Unstuff Your Life!. He travels the world speaking, teaching, and coaching individuals and global brands including the New York Mets, Genentech, American Express, Time, Inc. and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.