By Kris Cavanaugh
The 2009 holiday season has finished and the world is beginning a new year full of amazing possibilities including a list of resolutions millions of people plan on accomplishing during 2010. According to the USA.gov website the following items are the most common resolutions people make year after year: Lose Weight, Manage Debt, Save Money, Get a Better Job, Get Fit, Get a Better Education, Drink Less Alcohol, Quit Smoking Now, Reduce Overall Stress, Reduce Stress at Work, Take a Trip, and Volunteer to Help Others. Your 2010 resolution may fit into one of those categories or it may be completely unique. Either way statistics show that most people start off with very good intentions, but often give up after one or two failures in being consistent towards achieving their goals.
What most people don’t realize is over time we get so used to thinking about or doing things in a certain way that we automatically default to the same actions or thought patterns (often without even realizing it!) which produce the same life experiences over and over again. In a nutshell, we get “stuck” in the same life cycle which typically causes us to experience a lot of inner resistance to any changes we are trying to make in our life…even if we know they are good for us.
Below are four steps you can take to radically improve the odds of achieving your 2010 resolutions:
Step #1: Accept that failure is part of the goal achievement process
Your life experience today is due to a series of choices you’ve made throughout your lifetime. Some of those choices were involuntary (the positive and negative habits you developed) and some were intentional (the actions you chose based on your desired outcomes). Developing new habits does not happen overnight and often requires a series of successes and failures. If you accept that failure is part of the change process you will be more likely to keep moving forward toward your goal – which dramatically increases your chances of achieving it.
Step #2: Develop a support network to keep you on track
Despite good intentions sometimes our emotions (how we feel) overpower our thoughts (what we want to have happen) which often causes us to give up on our goals prematurely. If you develop a support network of people who can stand in the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in order to help you achieve your goals and dreams, you’ll be more likely to stay on track over the long run.
Step #3: Build in time-blocks to work on your goals 3 – 4 times a week
The schedules we have week after week are usually chaotic, but predictable. The time needed to achieve your goals is not going to magically appear. Instead you must carve out time to address your goals otherwise you will never make any significant forward movement towards them. Taking the time on a Sunday night or Monday morning to add “goal-achievement” time blocks to your weekly schedule, and committing to honor those time blocks, will ensure your continued progress.
Step #4: Redefine a successful day to keep your attitude positive
Most people I know have daily “to-do” lists a mile long. By the end of their day they are exhausted and often feel like a failure because they didn’t get everything done. Stop defining the success of your day in relation to your “to-do” list! Every day can be a successful day if you learn to re-define it in a way that supports your long term goals and honors the person you want to become over your lifetime. Learn to prioritize your goals each day and choose to only focus on the top three priorities. By redefining your successful day you will find that your attitude stays positive and your goals are accomplished more consistently throughout your lifetime.
Take a minute right now to work through the following exercise so you will radically increase your chances of achieving your New Year’s resolutions:
1) Write down each of your 2010 Resolutions on a piece of paper.
2) Commit to working through your failures until success happens more naturally
3) Develop a support network who can keep you on track
4) Grab your calendar and block out time to work on your goals
5) Create your own definition of a successful day and tape it to your bathroom mirror
Before I close I would love for you to tell me what your 2010 Resolutions are and how you plan on ensuring you achieve them. Please share them using the comment section below.
Have a fabulous 2010! I wish you much laughter and joy over the months to come. Don’t forget to keep your eyes open for all the amazing possibilities within and around you!