It’s hard to believe that we are at the end of yet another year and on the threshold of a new one.  As most people do, I get a bit reflective this time of year.

I reflect on the events that have transpired over the last year; the good and bad. I reflect and marvel at how my children have grown from small toddlers into young adulthood so rapidly.  It makes me feel old.

I also spend time reflecting on where I am at personally and professionally with goals that were met, set-aside, or never accomplished.  Good intentions non-withstanding, some goals never even saw the light of day.

However, I’m ok with that. Sometimes, the goals set earlier in the year turned out to be unrealistic when it really came down to it.  Oftentimes, life is altered along the way and we have to shift & change with it.

That’s why, as I sit here in my reflective state, I again contemplate setting New Year’s Resolutions for this upcoming year.  However, I know that simply setting a resolution is only the first step in making that resolve something of substance, of change, or of true resolve.

If I hope to make changes to my life based solely on resolve, then I will be doomed from the start. Resolve will only carry me so far.  Maybe you’re great at resolve, but in all honesty, my own resolve sucks.

Unless I take that resolve and identify the bigger goal.

Let’s say I resolve to regularly exercise in the New Year.  Exercising more is a great resolve but one with vastly broad parameters. Therefore, I must focus that resolve into a specific goal.  “I resolve to exercise regularly by setting a goal of going to the gym 3 days a week.”  Again, this is a great goal, but (just like resolves) setting goals will only get me so far.

To further my goal, I identify a required habit needed in order to meet the goal, which fulfills my resolve. Honestly, I am convinced there will be no progress without a change in my daily habits.

Why? Because, if I’m not making it to the gym 3 days a week now, – in 2017 – what’s to say I’ll make it 3 days a week in 2018 unless something changes?  Resolve is not enough for change but setting a goal and building a new habit is.

3 tips to Succeed at any New Years Resolution:

  1. Identify the resolution.
    • e.g. Exercise Regularly
  2. Identify the goal(s) tied to that resolution.
    • e.g. Get to the gym 3 days a week to exercise reguarly
  3. Identify the required habit needed to meet the goal and fulfill the resolution.
    • e.g. At 3:30 on Monday, Wednesday, & Friday I change into workout clothes and meet a friend at the gym to exercise together. (Including a friend in your goals/habits is a layer of accountability that can help build an ongoing, healthy path toward the achievement of your resolutions.)

There are some great resources if you want to read more about habits and the important role they play in helping move us towards success in our personal & professional lives.  Here are two of my most recommended reads on the subject:

“The Power of Habit – Why we do what we do in Life and Business.”  – By Charles Duhigg

“The One Thing – The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results” by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan

What tips do you have for succeeding at your New Year’s Resolutions? Feel free to share them in the comments below.

Keeping it Simple,

Victoria

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