You rang in the new year. You began a fresh new start. Maybe you even set some resolutions. After all, it's “new year” everything around here.
It’s time to take a big risk. Finally kick that bad habit. Be more productive. Fuel your body better. Stop being so consumed by your phone.
There's not a bad resolution in the bunch. You have great intentions. Total willpower. But creating your best year yet with the resolutions you set is about so much more than wanting to check your social media feeds less. It's about the habits and actions you intend to create to make yourself a better professional, family member and citizen.
There's no time more important to set and exceed your New Year's goals than between now and April. The first quarter will make or break those resolutions becoming your daily reality. Here's a roadmap to not just deciding on the person you want to be and the things you want to do, but to actually getting there.
Move from Resolution to Vision
Resolutions are great. But they're more powerful when combined with a clear vision for your life. Knowing your vision will give resolutions more weight (thus a better chance at your sticking to them) because you know what they are laddering up towards. Jacki Carr, a IGOLU certified goals coach and brand consultant, suggests using an activity called vision crafting to get clear on your big picture. “Vision crafting is creating an image, a snapshot in the future that inspires, moves you and feels possible. Your life visions can be set 10 years, five years or even one month into the future," she says. “Go see an image, a snapshot in time in the future that moves you, excites you, allows a new possibility." Do your resolutions make sense with this vision?
Put an Action Plan in Place
Once you get clear on your big picture – where you see yourself, what work you're doing, and who you're with – make it real. Perhaps your resolutions are one of the ways you do this, or maybe you need new ones all together. If you have a vision of launching your a new business but are currently working for "the man" in some unrelated industry, perhaps it's time to start doing something about it. Anything, no matter how small. What will you do every day or every week to make that vision come true? The answer should hopefully be in your resolutions for the year.
Don't Buy Into the ‘Everything or Bust’ Mentality
Like that age-old diet advice: one day of eating poorly doesn't make you an unhealthy person. The same is true in moving toward your goals. It's about consistency and momentum more days than not in the first three months. A great trick for getting everything into your day is to put it right on the calendar you use to schedule everything. But as you schedule your checklist, Carr reminds you not to forget to schedule in you time – an important ingredient in achieving your goals. She calls this conscious calendaring, or the action of adding all of you to the calendar. Whether it's recharging with a good book or going on a dinner date with your partner, accomplished goals require taking care of yourself.
Create Accountability and Support
Great achievements are never accomplished alone. Your resolutions are the same. And the only way to bring a support system around these important goals for yourself is to ask for it. “Ask for help. Get out of your head and let someone else who you trust fully and love wholly give you insight, perspective and truth from a place that is higher than you can lift yourself right now," Carr suggests. Depending on what your resolution is, pick a person who you know will be there when you need the support the most. A resolution win requires a team, even if that's just a team of two.
Schedule a 3-Month Review
Just like you hopefully did at the end of 2015, resolutions that become your usual require your attention. And perhaps even some recalibration. That's the way you get closer to your vision. At the end of the first three months of 2016, once your vision is set, you have your actions in place and people around you to help, take stock of what worked, what didn't and why. You may be kicking butt and need to set new Q2 resolutions, or maybe you need to change your daily goals to more closely align with what's working in your life.
Resolutions can come and go, but if they're created with this clear roadmap you'll be achieving success in no time. Whether more travel was calling your name or better email habits are a part of your game plan, the next three months are the most crucial in bringing your resolutions alive.