Every New Year I hear family and friends set themselves up for failure: “I want to lose weight; I want to save money.” Or like my student’s say, “I want to stay out of trouble.” This year, start your clean slate by setting specific and realistic resolutions.
Step 1: Brainstorm. Here is where my “Ms. Agent” teaching skills come in to play: Take a blank piece of paper, and at the center of the page write out, “My 2012 Goals.” Circle your label, and use the rest of the space to record all of your potential, yet realistic resolutions.
Step 2: Trim down your list. Now that you have options, limit yourself to one goal. Choose the one that is the most important to you. And if you find that you accomplish your goal quickly, you can then set a new one. And don’t forget the key to successful resolutions is keeping them realistic. The more time you can dedicate to your goal, the greater the chance you have of accomplishing it.
Step 3: Put yourself in the hot seat. Realistically ask yourself, “What is my desired outcome?” For me, my desired outcome is a summer destination wedding. Next ask yourself, “What are the steps necessary to accomplish my goal?” In my case, my fiancé and I must save money.
Step 4: Create a specific plan. In order to follow through with your goal, you must establish a plan. It’s so easy to say a goal out loud, but if you never create a plan as to how you will accomplish your goal, it will most likely fail. On the back of your brainstorming paper, write out your goal (nice and big) at the top of the page. Beneath your goal draw an arrow pointing to the first step. Under that step draw an arrow pointing to your next or final step.
Step 5: Post it. Do whatever you need to do to remind yourself of your goal. Take a picture of your list and set it up as the background on your computer or phone. Post it on your refrigerator, desk or car dashboard. Whatever your resolution is, try your best to keep it on your mind.
Step 6: Watch your goal come to life. By setting a realistic resolution and by taking the time to establish steps, you have no choice but to see success. After you are done celebrating the success of your first goal, start mapping out the steps to accomplishing your next resolution.
How are you doing with your New Year’s goals so far?