everyday success

Blog Archive: Jan, 2014

Before Another Year: Planning for Reality

We’re wired.  We like things that are instantaneous.  We’re in a world where we want whatever we want right now. 

That makes resolutions pretty difficult.  Often, our resolutions are for goals that take time.  But, darn it, we want it right now.  Instead, we’re faced with doing it again and again week-after-week and month-after-month and that can be tough.  Making resolutions happen can get pretty boring.  That is why many resolution-makers give up by mid-March.

Making resolutions happen means you’ll embrace the reality of your goal.  When we lose weight, it’s two pounds a week – if we’re lucky.  If we’re training for a marathon, it takes months of running to grow our stamina.  If we’re saving for a down payment, it can take a year or two or three. 

All of this means that to win at resolutions, to get to your goal, you need a plan, a timeline and check-points.  Change can happen; count on it.  We’ll start with the plan and over the next few days, we’ll cover the timeline and ways to keep to your plan.

The Plan. 

Rather than dive into a huge goal, remember that there’s more to your goal than a decision.

Break your goal into small, seemingly easy steps.  Small goals are so much more achievable than one huge goal.  If it’s twenty pounds you seek, then look at it in five pound increments.  If it’s a marathon, start with 3 or 5 mile sprints.  If it’s a down payment, celebrate each and every $1,000 you set aside.  That’s right, the  other benefit from taking small steps to your goal – you congratulate yourself for every single success along the road to your goal. 

Plan for the gazillion details that get between you and your goal.  The devil is in the details.   It’s a quote we’ve long heard and it absolutely relates to goal-setting.  There’s so much more than the actual goal.  So, start with a list of all the things you’ll have to do to make it happen. 

For example, if you are planning weight loss, there’s much more than naming a diet.  You’ll want to create menus, figure out shopping lists, decide which restaurants will allow you to stick to your plan. 

Decide whether to tell others.  That may seem a strange consideration but social scientists have uncovered counter-intuitive data.  It turns out that those who are most successful at achieving change in their lives have not shared their plans with many.

Prepare for naysayers.  What will you say?  Count on it, there will people who will tell you that you won’t make it, that it is just too hard.  Prepare your dialog.  What will you say to those who try to throw cold water on your plans.

With a plan, you’ve greatly increased your chances for success.  On the next posts, we’ll look at setting a timeline and ways to check in on your progress.

Before Another Year: What Matters Most?

Happy New Year!  Here’s to one mighty terrific year for you and yours.

It’s natural to be reflective as we turn the calendar, as we move on to another new year.  How many New Years have you celebrated?  Do you celebrate the same way each year?  Is 2014 somehow different?  What will make it different?

It’s natural for our thoughts to turn to resolutions, to decisions about what we’ll do differently in the year ahead.  It’s very human to look back and then look ahead and sometimes modify our path.  It’s also easy to simply name the same old resolutions and leave it at that. 

Same Old Resolutions

But, wait!  Before going with the same old resolutions, stop and think about them.  Are you in a resolution rut?  Do you name the same ones each and every year but never quite make them happen?

Instead of going with the same old, ask yourself a few questions.

  1. What kinds of changes or resolutions work in your life?  In other words, what can you make happen?
  2. Why haven’t you succeeded with some of your resolutions?  It’s true.  Most of us do not succeed with our resolutions.  By March, most of the diet and fitness resolutions have fallen aside.  Instead, let’s make 2014 the year that works for you.  Be honest and remind yourself why you haven’t succeeded with past resolutions.
  3. Using your strengths, how can you craft resolutions you can actually make happen?
What Matters Most to YOU in 2014?

What will make the year ahead a special year for you?  Perhaps there is already something special about 2014 in your life.  If not, do you want there to be something different about this New Year?

Write a sentence or two – or, instead, draw a picture.  What resolutions will get you to your goal AND what resolutions can you actually make happen?  Imagine; what will be different at the end of 2014 if you make these resolutions happen?  With those images in mind, name the changes or choices that matter most to you.

For example, I’m naming 2014 my Tina Turner Year.  Why?  Because I’m in sort of good shape but my legs could get stronger and I could be leaner.  She has incredible legs and she is fabulously fit – who at her age can perform the way Tina Turner does?  Other reasons?  Because she is mentally disciplined and knows how to satisfy her fan base.  I can picture my physique at the end of 2014 and I can also imagine working to make Everyday Success a place that is good for my audience.

That’s what matters to me.  It's not necessary to pattern your resolutions on another person.  I use it as an example that shows the process of identifying the things that matter most for one person. 

What about you?  What matters most for you in 2014 and how can those things be translated into resolutions?  

What Can YOU Make Happen?

That's right, it is all about you and the resolutions that are right for you.  As you create your resolutions, be sure you are naming those things you can actually make happen.  Over the next two blogs, we’ll look at creating a plan and timeline plus we’ll develop ways to check in on you over the year.  Let’s make 2014 the year when we make our resolutions happen.