I’m a fan of New Year’s Resolutions, whether for marketing a small business or being a Dad or just staying healthy. I like the idea of trying to be better. So it’s always a bit disappointing when the topic comes up, and 90% of the people in the room say they don’t even bother making resolutions any more.
Whether you make resolutions or not, it’s never too late to try, and to revisit ones that have drifted and get them back on track. Here are five ways to make New Year’s Resolutions, and make ’em stick!
1. Think Small.
Don’t drown yourself in 30 or 20 resolutions… or even 10. Pick one or maybe just a couple of others that mean something to you, and focus on them. Write them down where you can see them regularly, and keep them simple.
2. Be specific.
Don’t just say you want to lose weight, or read more, or get in shape. How will you do it? What specifically will be the benefit of doing it? When will you fit it into your daily or weekly schedule? Where will be your place to run or read or just hide away? Take just a few extra minutes to write down a few details of your plans now, rather than waiting to figure out these details in the midst of your busy days to come.
Book specific dates and times in Google calendar when you’ll reflect and rate yourself on how you’re doing. Identify ways you’re doing well, and ways you can improve. You don’t use a calendar? Make that your first resolution; it only takes a few minutes to set up and get some automatic reminders working on your side!
4. Have a resolution buddy.
This point is huge. Being accountable to someone, and knowing that that person will be checking in at prearranged times to see how you’re doing, is a phenomenally helpful aspect of making successful resolutions.
5. Take your resolution on a test drive.
This is my personal favorite. Making a resolution for the coming year can be daunting. So why not start with a New Month’s Resolution, or even a New Week’s Resolution? This is great if you really want to try something big but don’t want to set yourself up for failure. You don’t believe you can exercise or study every day for a year? Commit to it just for a month or week or even a day. Getting that small success behind you will give you a positive feel and help you try it again for the same amount of time, or maybe take it up a notch if you’re building some confidence. You can do it!
So there you go. How about it? Ready to take a chance on yourself? Go ahead. Resolve and believe in yourself. You — more than the economy or anything else — will determine whether or not the coming days add up to the best year you’ve had yet.