Once every year there are thousands and thousands of people who sense the urge to come up with resolutions for the new year. This is good. It shows that people are willing to change something for the better. I wonder though how many of these new year’s resolution come to pass, materialize. I am not aware of any statistics. I am sure that the number is probably very high. Unfortunately. But why is this so? I reckon that most of these resolutions are not sincere. They lack the proper motivation to start with and drive to follow through to realize them. So, how can you do it differently? What do you have to do differently to develop a successful new year’s resolution? – Here’s my list:
Yes, it starts with a vision of what you want to achieve. This is obvious you may think. But do you really know what it takes to have and follow a vision?! First of all you want to know where and when you want to achieve something. Then, before you even qualify your goals, find out more about the true, underlying motivation for your urge for change and improvement. What is it that bothers you? Is it just you who is affected by it? And, what happens if you don’t do anything about it? Once you have answered these questions continue to the following: What would be the ideal scenario juxtaposing the situation you want to improve? Who will benefit from it? And, last but not least, what can you do to start the improvement process?
Answering these questions will give you a much better idea of where you are coming from and which direction you want to go to. This is the foundation of understanding for qualifying your goals. If you are really serious about them and can visualize the process and outcome it should be easy to specify them. Make them unique, maybe you can even measure the outcome, set a time limit and, last but not least, stay realistic – your goals should be achievable one way or another. For you don’t want to follow an illusion or phantom.
A new year’s resolution can be a very personal thing. Yet, we don’t live in a social vacuum. Chances are that you will need the help of others to achieve your goals. Who are these people? What do they need and how can they help you? In reverse, how can you in trying to reach your goals help them? How do they benefit from it? And, this is the central question, how can you nurture collaboration with them?
You can dream, you can visualize, you can plan – there comes a time where the rubber has to meet the road. In other words, ACT! Follow through. Have the guts to take the first step. You have to start somewhere. This is where your new year’s resolution comes to life. The first step may not be the outcome right away. It starts the process. If you hesitate, you may want to go back and check your motivation to change in the first place. Build your vision. If you don’t have one, be honest with yourself and don’t deceive yourself. If you are not serious about your new year’s resolution, why boast that you have one. You ridicule yourself and join the large group of people with shallow, meaningless resolutions.
While it is great to have a resolution which you don’t have to adjust at least a little bit, it is unrealistic that this ever happens. Circumstances change and we have to adopt. The same applies to our resolution. This is no call to throw your resolution overboard as soon as you face the first challenge. No. It is a call to check whether or not your chosen path is the right one. Maybe you have to take a different route to your treasure.
And yes, you will make mistakes along the way. Prepare yourself for mistakes. And learn from them. A mistake is valuable if you do. Recall the saying, “never make a mistake more than twice”. Give yourself some room to breathe, to experiment, to make mistakes and space to learn and grow.
Oh yes, results. This is what the resolution is all about. Well, it depends. Personally, I don’t believe that results are always the most important thing which matter. The path to them do. Still, results serve as a reflection of the quality of your vision, your willingness to share, involve and work with others on your resolution, your energy to perform, your humbleness to make and admit mistakes and to learn from them. My little piece of advice: define several interim results on the path to the final desired outcome. You don’t want to wait until the “end” to find out whether or not you have achieved your goal. Just as we plan in stops on a long journey, layout interim milestones and checkpoints. It will make you fell great when you find out that you have reached the first milestones and are on track to achieving your new year’s resolution.
New year’s resolutions are a great thing. If you are serious about them and have an honest desire to achieve them. I hope that following these 5 principles outlined above help you realize them. Good luck and a have a great new year 2011.