Did you make a New Year Resolution? Are you making steady progress, or are you in a rut? Maybe it’s time to take a hard look at what you’ve achieved. Remember January 1, when you made a promise to yourself and said I Resolve To _______. Maybe you decided it was time to earn a college degree, or learn a new language, start a business, run a marathon, contribute time and effort to a favorite cause, pay off debt, or get fit; the possibilities are endless.
Many people are not very successful in pursuing their dreams or with New Year’s Resolutions, while other people seem to achieve whatever they choose to continue quickly. The question for each of us is, “How can I make it happen for me?”
1. Recognize & Celebrate Your Successes Of This Past Year
Take your time, sit back & reflect on the last 12 months on what are your achievements & write them down. Include items like “I watched less television” or “I was less bothered by …” etc. Then once you have your list, take some time to show your pleasure & pride with your successes. You deserve it. We often take our successes for granted & yet this is a key step in having confidence to take on new challenges. Pick an activity or a way to celebrate that is right for you.
2. Identify Your Dreams For This Upcoming Year
Create 3-6 specific & short statements that identify what you want. Then reflect & write down 2-4 sentences on what it will be like when you have achieved each of these goals. Be as descriptive as you can. Put this information somewhere you can pull out readily throughout your day.
3. Identify Your Key Steps You Will Take In The Next 3 Months That Will Move You Towards Your Dreams
You may prefer more broad strategic statements, or you may prefer particular tasks – either way, is fine – select the approach that is right for you. Check that the steps you have chosen are doable during this time frame.
4. Commit To Yourself Daily That These Key Steps Are Your Priorities For Change During This Time
Other opportunities will come your way & you will need to choose if you will be distracted or not. You may want to review the material you prepared for item #2 on basis to remind yourself why these key steps are so important for you.
5. Secure The Support That You Need To Be Successful
We can be a lot more successful if we share our desires with someone we trust. This could be your friend, family member or a personal development coach. You may want more than one person’s support. You may also need some tools to help you out like a daily reminder in your day timer or calendar.
6. Action Your Key Steps
This is the most important step of all. Take that first step – it’s amazing how much enthusiasm & confidence you have for other items once you have a win or two.
7. Track Your Progress On A Regular Basis
This may be on a daily, weekly or monthly basis – you choose what’s right for you. The key here is to keep track of you wins & look at your next ones to take. This aids in momentum.
8. Release Fear
This step is not a one time vent as it is something that you might have done over and over. You might have noticed that you are stuck and you are still in the same place. You may have come face to face with fear that comes in different form. It can take the form of your responsibilities and make you work towards them instead of your dreams.
9. Keep Your Cool – Remember That Life Still Goes On
At times, you may get overwhelmed with all you want to get done & that you may simply not have sufficient time in your day for everything. Be kind to yourself. I hear “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. You may also need to reduce or eliminate something temporarily or permanently that takes a lot of your time but is less important than your key steps. You may need to reduce the number of key steps you take at this time.
10. Celebrate Your Successes
It is really important that you celebrate your successes. It may be through writing yourself a congratulations letter with full details of what the accomplishments were & how you feel about it. Or it could be taking a nice, quiet bath where you pamper yourself. Choose to celebrate in a way that you will appreciate.
If you have chosen some big goals / dreams, you may not have them fully realized in the first 3 months, so you will need to repeat steps 3-9.
Keep believing in yourself. Always think that the Universe is friendly and it’s always working towards it. Have some fun. Consider becoming a ‘Resolutionista’ – someone who makes and keeps New Year Resolutions and enjoys doing it – someone who revels in the journey! What do you have to lose? You have less to lose by ‘trying’, than if you ‘do nothing at all’! Stop procrastinating.