It's that time of year: resolutions are made and promptly broken. But why is it, when we're so good at setting business goals and following through, that we can't seem to keep up with our resolutions?
Let's look at our resolutions like any other big business or personal goal and follow through with them in 2017. Here are a few tips to help make them stick.
1. Make sure it's something you want to do.
Not something you feel like you should do. Not something your spouse wants you to do.
2. Be reasonable.
You will not likely make it from 100 pounds overweight to 3-hour, 30-minutes marathon runner in four months. And that's okay. Instead, resolve to exercise every day.
3. Plan ahead.
You don't start a business without a plan, and you shouldn't go about a lifestyle change without a plan. What resources do you need? Who can help you?
4. Anticipate your excuses.
If you want to lose weight and you know you tend to snack in front of the television, give yourself a plan: watch less television, or keep healthy snacks easily accessible so you're reaching for apples instead of potato chips. If you've resolved to quit smoking but you know you tend to smoke when you're having a drink with friends, maybe avoid those social situations for awhile.
5. Narrow your focus.
If you're looking at major lifestyle changes, choose just one resolution to focus on this year. Be specific about what you want to do. “Exercise more” is not a good resolution. How many times per week? What type of exercise?
6. Choose positive goals.
Instead of resolving to stop doing something (a negative goal), resolve to start doing something (a positive goal). Even when you have a habit you'd like to quit (like smoking) you can reframe it in a positive-goal way by saying, “Instead of smoking, I will write letters to my grandmother.” Give yourself a healthy, life-enhancing alternative to the behavior you'd like to change.
7. Take one day at a time.
Focusing on how far you have to go will make you want to quit. Instead, focus on today and the success you're finding with your resolution right now. A setback isn't the end, as long as you pick it up again tomorrow.
What resolutions did you set for 2017? What's your plan for sticking to them?