It’s no secret that most New Year’s Resolutions don’t make it passed the first couple of weeks of January. And it’s no secret what the form is that they generally take: lose weight, eat better, exercise more, blah blah blah. The problem with those resolutions is that we should be doing them anyway. We shouldn’t “resolve” to live a healthy life, we should just do it. Easier said than done, I know from personal experience.
We can and should do better with our New Year’s Eve Resolutions!
I like to hear about New Year’s Resolutions that are transformative, either personally or professionally. Transformative resolutions will have a much bigger impact on life and will likely be much more successful as a result. Ironically, we are all more likely to stick to something that’s big and audacious rather than something smaller and less meaningful. Again, I know from personal experience.
So how do we go about doing this?
First of all, pick one resolution and make it big. I made the mistake last year of making two resolutions, and they were both too big. One was to go paperless and the other was to learn to speak Spanish again. I travel so much for work, so carrying around a lot of paper just became unrealistic. I needed to go completely paperless so that I could always have my files with me at all times. I was so committed to making paperless happen, so as a result I was very successful with this resolution. Speaking Spanish again, however, never came to fruition. There was a time in my life when I spoke conversational Spanish very fluently. I’ve lost that for the most part and I really want it back again. But I just couldn’t get my act together to make that resolution happen last year. I was concentrating so much on going paperless that I couldn’t absorb another resolution in my life at the time. So my advice to you is to just pick one resolution. Make it big and meaningful and focus on it all year long. For 2018, I’m going to learn to speak Spanish again!
Don’t make your resolution something you would be doing anyway. When deciding on your one big resolution, pick something life changing and not something that you should be doing anyway. Like losing weight or cutting down on carbs. Pick something that you wouldn’t be focusing on otherwise, and ideally something that you haven’t tried to do before over and over. At first, I was going to make my 2018 resolution to write my next marketing book. But then I realized that I should be doing that anyway and it wouldn’t be as transformative as learning to speak Spanish again. Even though I am writing my next book as we speak!
But be realistic. Don’t pick something that can’t happen within the year or that would be nearly impossible to actually get done. For example, don’t plan to travel around the world to six countries that you’ve never been to if you can’t get that much time off from work. Or don’t try to go paperless if you have trouble reading documents on-screen. I am going to learn to speak Spanish this year, for sure. Although it’s going to be hard, I know that I can get it done if I focus on it.
Go public with it and engage others in your commitment. I find it easier to commit to a resolution if I tell other people about it. Last year I literally posted my resolutions on social media and wrote blog posts about them. And I told everyone at work about them too, so that they could aid in my journey. Everyone stopped printing hard copies for me. And everyone asked me about my resolutions all the time. How could I print out a document when I’ve committed to everyone that I’m going paperless? So post your big resolution and tell you teams so that they can help you stay focused and accomplish your goals.
Mix business with pleasure. I personally like to pick resolutions that will extend to both my work and personal lives. Going paperless certainly did...I pay all my bills online now and I file all receipts electronically. Speaking Spanish is not only a personal goal, but it’ll help me at work as a global marketing leader. Being bi-lingual will give me some legitimacy that I’d really like to add to my portfolio of business attributes. I’d suggest that you do the same...find a resolution that has impact at home and at work.
Have an end goal that’s measurable. Make sure your big resolution can get done within the year and make sure you’ll know when you’re done! Going paperless was a journey but I knew I had accomplished my goal by the end of the year. I was no longer printing documents. If I’m speaking conversational Spanish by December, then I’ll know I made my resolution come to life. You should do the same by making sure you’re resolution can come to completion by the end of the year. Make sure you can measure your progress and that the goal is clear. Then it’ll all happen!
I wish you great success in picking your resolution and making it come true in 2018. Best wishes for a big impact on your life!