It’s the first day of February! And maybe now would be a good time to reflect on where you are with the resolutions you took at the start of the year. Breaking from our usual habits is difficult and often painful – requiring not just willpower and stamina but also the courage to take risks, to fail, and to pick ourselves up again. It’s ok if you have faltered or done almost nothing about it. Here are a few steps on how to proceed.
1. Reflect on what you have accomplished.
You can start by asking two questions: What went well in January? What didn’t go well in last month? It’s a very simple but useful exercise that takes stock of where you’ve made progress and where there’s room for improvement. After a clear-eyed assessment of what you’re capable of, you’ll be in good stead to revise your goals for the year ahead.
2. Select 1-3 meaningful goals that will make an impact.
When it comes to resolutions, research and experience show that you’re much more likely to be successful if you: (1) lay out a small list of very specific goals, (2) outline a clear plan of action to achieve them, and (3) plan for what will happen in case of setbacks, distractions, and interruptions. So consider this: What matters most to you in the remaining 11 months? What are you passionate about and well-equipped to achieve? Choose your battles wisely, and commit to them completely.
3. Remove the inessentials with a “stop doing” list.
Chances are, you probably weren’t working at 80 percent capacity this month. In fact, I bet you felt too busy. So just where does the extra bandwidth to work on these new resolutions come from? That’s where bestselling author Jim Collins’ “Stop Doing List” comes in. To gain the time needed to enact these new goals, know that you’re going to have to give up something. It may be extra client work after you meet a certain monthly financial goal, or maybe it’s just sleeping in an extra hour. Identify what those elements are, and commit to NOT doing them.
Here are some additional tips to making your resolutions stick:
1. Make smaller resolutions.
2. Seriously, get specific with your goals.
3. Write down your goals.
4. Enlist some help from technology.
5. Make your resolutions public.
6. Plan your followthrough.
7. Check in with yourself regularly.
8. Celebrate small successes.
9. Remember that it’s okay to slip up (then get back on track!).
10. Don’t rely on others to get you where you’re going.
11. Stick with what works.
12. Believe in yourself.
Personal development is very much a marathon, not a sprint. Realistic and worthwhile goals take time to achieve, but may lead you to lifelong changes. They are worth pursuing, and worth working hard on!
On a lighter note, here is a funny forward I received on Whatsapp