I admit that I am a bit of a resolution junkie. I make them four times a year, not just one -- once every quarter (or every three months). It can be in life, work, family, friends, relationships. I always look forward to it. If there is one thing you learn growing up in the "Oprah Generation" (little kids who grew up among the backdrop of her show as their mother's watched) it's that you are empowered. Nothing makes that happen more than taking action.
Of course, making resolutions is one thing. Actually doing them is another story.
That was the exact conversation as my sister and I sat in my Los Angeles living room just before the New Year holiday. As a serial media and internet entrepreneur, goals and objectives are everything. The ability to set your sights on something and then knock out the steps you need is part of the job description. Without it, projects wouldn't get made and sold, things would not happen. As a business advisor who has worked with hundreds of ambitious people of all types, I've seen virtually every approach you can see in terms of how people work to accomplish goals.
Is there a formula? You bet! It looks like this:
1. Keep it simple - Most people list a long list of things they'd like to change, which is not unlike trying to climb an entire mountain with ten arms and legs. You just can't do it. Make THREE goals only -- you'll be more likely to accomplish them and will likely do so BEFORE the end of the year. If you are feeling ambitious afterwards, set three more.
2. Do the work -- There is absolutely power in positive thinking, you do create your own outcome, and all that "The Secret" type of stuff, but the reality is there's a lot of truth to the often quoted bible adage "belief without action is dead." Life's unfortunately not like a restaurant where you order dinner and sit leisurely waiting for it to arrive as you requested. It's more like you're the cook. Make sure you set aside the time to commit to doing what you need to make your resolutions come true.
3. Create the map -- Getting anywhere, to anything, requires steps. If you took the train this morning, you walked to the station, you paid, went through the turnstyle, down the stairs and then ultimately on board the train. Accomplishing your goals and resolutions work the same way -- you have to create an outline (or a "map") of those steps. So many people try to do things without necessarily giving real thought to what they have to actually do. It won't work.
4. Keep structured by the list -- Either every night or every morning, a list is created in a notebook in my life. It's every day of the week, seven days a week, 365 days a year. There's a reason -- not only does it keep things organized, but it also puts the map or steps I need to take to what I want to accomplish -- and helps me see what I have accomplished and what I have not.
5. See life like a soccer game -- If you ever watch a soccer game, there are times when players sprint, run, jog, walk, stand still, sit on the bench, practice and rest. When it's time to put the hustle on, they put the hustle on. But they also know when it's okay to settle down and scale back -- all without losing sight of the game or their movement towards the win. See life in the same way. If you are spending too much time on the bench, resting or walking, it might be time to amp up the game. Don't be afraid to take rest also -- but remember, nobody sits on the bench for very long. That's because in order to win you ultimately have to keep the gas on.
What's great is that with the internet, accomplishing things can be all the easier. If you're resolution is to finally become the TV host you dreamt of, you can leverage casting sites like Gotcast.com. If you're hoping to take your work to a new level, check out CraigsList for job listings. If it's to get fit and healthy, reconsider exercise DVDs like the incredible set from Physique 57.com or grab meal plans from celebrity trainer (and fellow Power Girl) Jenna Phillips from no matter where you are.