Don’t let resolutions slip away

January 4, 2015
Filed under: Coach's Corner — Tags: , , , — jonimar @ 7:48 pm

Visualize and plan ahead to make your New Year’s commitments stick

Q: Every year I set new professional goals as my New Year’s resolutions. However, within weeks I lose traction as other priorities take over. How can I create sticky resolutions?

A: There is a lot riding on New Year’s resolutions when viewed as wiping the slate clean, the salvo to breaking a haunting bad habit, or making a dramatic impact. Big goals that require a change in belief or behaviour need more than a public declaration.

Try these four easy steps to improve your resolution retention:

  • Limit resolutions to three stretch goals which can realistically be accomplished within a year.  The more meaningful and relevant they are to you, the easier it will be to stay on track.
  • Envision their successful completion. After creating your resolutions, invest time imagining the opportunities that would be possible for you and others once you achieve your goal. Like an athlete repeatedly visualizing crossing the finish line, revisiting your vision throughout the year will keep you focused and tethered to your resolutions.
  • Create manageable action plans with clear and specific measures so you will be buoyed by hitting ongoing targets. Share your plan with others to demonstrate your commitment to your resolutions. Ask allies to encourage and hold you accountable to your milestones. Celebrate each deadline you reach.
  • Finally, identify three qualities and characteristics you need to personify to be successful. For example, if you resolve to speak up at every meeting you might commit to being bold, outspoken and well prepared.

You, like many, may lose momentum or fall off course. You can recover any time by acknowledging your success to date and revisiting the four easy steps above.  Readjusting your action steps and timelines as needed can eventually lead you to year-end congratulations.

Originally published in The Province, January 4, 2015


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