When Resolutions Falter, Take Vitamin R
1) Reset: By now, many New Year’s resolutions are struggling. At least one reason that resolutions are faltering is that they’re too big…in the sense that they’re annualized. Resolutions are like business plans on drugs. Which is bad, since business plans work like this:
- You start thinking about the need for a business plan right after Thanksgiving dinner.
- You sit down and seriously start planning, half way into December.
- Frantically, you “craft” your plan in the final hours of the year.
- Excited, you review your new plan on the 1st working day of the new year. Awesome, you think! Big, humongous, audacious goals. Yeah!
- Sometime in March, you remember to review your plan again. Hm. Trailing some targets, you think. Double-down your efforts. Maybe that will work this time.
- A week or so before Independence Day, your heart sinks when you look at your plan for the last time…until Thanksgiving.
So, business plans are built on hecticness. Resolutions are born out of chaos: Man! New Year’s starts in 4 minutes–I need some resolutions!
While annual goals are important, they’re simply too large to act on. Break your annual goals down to 24 two-week bites. Assume 2 weeks will just completely blow up on you; assume you’ll take some time off. All the remaining weeks’ goals and action steps are small enough to hunker down and work on.
2) Reboot: By now, some regret may have surfaced. Reboot your resolve by releasing your disappointment and expecting setbacks (2 steps forward, one step back…right?). No more oughta, gotta, shouldas. Let them go. Each day is new and fresh. Make each one count.
3) Recommit: Don’t “try harder,” just chip away at those goals consistently.
4) Risk Reasonably: “No pain, no gain,” right? True—up to a point. But people sometimes risk rashly, too often with negative physical, emotional and financial consequences. So yes: risk! And yes, based on your thought-out reasons, not rash impulses.
5) Re-Believe!: Too often we abandon an important goal because we simply lose faith. Life is what happens after you make plans. This is the other side of “reboot.” Believe it will be better. If you don’t, it can’t.
6) Reach Out: Whether your resolutions are professional or personal makes no difference. It’s easy to feel isolated even in a hot-wired social media world. So, reach out:
- If you can, partner up with someone aiming at similar goals; talk once a week.
- Volunteer somewhere; get out of your bubble and just give back.
- Get a coach or trainer.
However you do it, reach out. You matter and what you can give matters. You’re needed.
What do you think? How do you do with resolutions?