5 Surefire Ways to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

A few weeks ago, as I was setting goals for 2015 I took an online course by Michael Hyatt. I knew that my intentions were good and that I would be able to choose solid goals. And I also knew that if I really wanted to achieve them, I could need some help. Now I want to share that with you. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Write down your goals – Just by writing down goals people are already better off statistically than those who don’t. What I mean by that is that the simple act of putting them down on paper counts. While you’re at it, to ensure that they’re solid, run them through the SMART filter. S – Specific, M – Measurable, A – Action-oriented, R – Realistic, T – Time-bound.
  2. Add motivations – What are the reasons you chose each goal? What difference will achieving them make to your life and business? Knowing why a goal is important enough to be written down and committed to will help you stick to it.
  3. Share them selectively – Michael Hyatt points out that while it can be good to share our goals, it’s also important to not share indiscriminately. The simple act of sharing a goal gives us a boost. Think about sharing with a friend that you’re going to run a half marathon; their encouraging response will stroke our ego a bit. There’s a chemical reaction in the brain that gives the reward without having done a thing to accomplishing it. On the flipside, your goal may be so audacious that sharing it with a naysayer can hurt your chances of achieving it. Don’t tell the “negative Nancys” bring you down. Upshot? Share goals selectively with people who are supportive and who will help hold you accountable. It’s that combination that can make a difference.
  4. Review them regularly – Just as marketing plans that sit on the shelf gathering dust are useless, not reviewing goals can have the same effect. Goals don’t just accomplish themselves; it’s critical to revisit them on a regular basis. Michael Hyatt suggests once per week. By appointment. I agree.
  5. Chunk them down – I don’t know about you, but do you ever look at a project and not know where to start? I do, sometimes, especially if there are a lot of moving parts that include things I’m not used to. Then I remember how helpful it is to have a number of smaller action items to get me going. Take the time to write down a handful of tasks that will get you going. It’s much less daunting to face a small task such as “make a list of current clients” than “create a relationship management program”. Once I’m moving forward, I look for other small tasks to tackle. Maintaining momentum takes less energy than what it takes to get started, so focus on keeping forward movement. Finally, completing small tasks and marking them off your list can make us happy. When I first heard this I knew they were talking to me. I get it. I do get happy when I complete a task that moves me ahead toward achieving my goals.

So, be different to succeed. Take the time to make your goals a regular priority and see what happens!