By Larry Chatterley, CTC Associates
At this time of year, many people make New Year’s resolutions. But the unfortunate truth is most resolutions fizzle and die before April Fool’s Day—which is perhaps aptly named for that reason. There’s no need for short lived January promises. With an understanding and application of a few key principles, you can turn your New Year’s resolutions into New Year’s results.
We all have resolutions or goals we hope to achieve. Here are four ideas to help you do just that:
1. Define a Reason for the Resolution.
Setting a goal by itself is usually not enough. You must identify the reason for it. Most goals do not “stick” because the impetus for its achievement is not big enough.
For example, losing weight is a great goal. But why do you want to lose the weight? Without a compelling purpose, it becomes too easy to allow yourself to eat the same way and/or continue to avoid exercise. The goal can too easily be pushed aside, delayed or even forgotten. On the other hand, if your reason for losing weight is to avoid severe health problems, gain confidence or look great at your high school reunion, now you have a reason. That reason should become your passion, your spark, your fuel. When you identify the true reason behind wanting to change, write it down and review it often. Identify the reward. Too many people focus on the process when it is the reason and reward that will keep them going.
Effective goals are born from vision. The vision must be bigger than the obstacles that stand between you and the goal. Goals are a catalyst for turning vision into reality.
In his essay, “The Common Denominator of Success,” Albert E. Gray says, “All successful people have the habit of doing the things failures don’t like to do. They don’t like doing them either, necessarily, but their dislike is subordinated to the strength of their purpose.”
Successful people weave habits of effectiveness into their daily lives to achieve desired results. Often, they are internally motivated by a strong sense of purpose.
2. Hold Yourself Accountable and Track Your Results.
“When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported, the rate of performance accelerates.”
-Thomas S. Monson
Without tracking and accountability, it is easy for goals to simply disappear when things get tough, as if they never existed. Accountability can take many different forms. If you are not comfortable sharing the goal with a friend, your spouse or the world at large, simply write it down for yourself. Each day, spend a few minutes to reflect upon the steps you took to move closer to your goal, or what choices you made that moved you further from your goal. This will help you identify changes to make to keep you moving in the right direction.
If you really want to accelerate your performance, choose to be accountable to another person for progress toward your goal. Check in with that person regularly and seek his/her counsel, advice and encouragement. Ask them to hold you accountable for your progress.
3. Surround yourself with the right people.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “Your success is determined by the company you keep?” Imagine how different your life might be if your circle of friends and acquaintances included those who have already accomplished what you hope to accomplish.
The people in our lives reflect who we are. In different phases of life we may attract different types of people. If we make the conscious choice to improve ourselves, we may also have to make choices about the people with whom we associate. Any successful person will tell you they surround themselves with like-minded people. When we surround ourselves with positive, motivated people, we are lifted and motivated. When we choose to be that way ourselves, we can lift and motivate others. Together, the relationships propel each person forward, upward and onward to greater things. Wanting the best for others will attract people who want the best for us.
4. Hire a coach.
Top athletes, great musicians and successful business executives may have many things in common, one of which is a great coach, teacher or mentor. There are coaches for fitness, coaches for music, coaches for business, and coaches for your personal life.
A good coach empowers you to achieve goals. They help you avoid the mistakes made by themselves or others. You can benefit from their knowledge and experience without having to go through the process yourself. The right coach will have a background in the area you are trying to improve and can hold you accountable to goals you set.
Finding and understanding your true sense of purpose will help propel you toward making and keeping your resolutions. But do not trust yourself to do it alone. Hold yourself accountable to another person. Have them help you track your progress. Seek to encourage and lift them as well on your journey toward achievement. That other person should be “the right” person, but he/she could also be a professional coach who has “been there, done that.” With these elements in place, you can make your New Year’s resolutions become New Year’s results. Don’t stop your goals short in April.
About the Author: Larry Chatterley is the founder of CTC Associates, a Colorado practice transition company. Contact Larry at 303-795-8800 or email@example.com.