For me, new years resolutions were all sizzle and no steak. They sounded great, but ultimately, they were just empty promises. I am not alone. Only 45% of us will keep our new years resolutions past the first 6 months. The good news is that research has shown that people who make resolutions are 10 times more likely to make changes than those who don't explicitly make resolutions. But, you do need a plan. I recommend that you set aside about an hour of your time to sit down and answer the following questions. The answers will help you build the life you want in 2013.
1. What did you achieve this year? What do you wish you had achieved? What did you enjoy and want to do more of?
2. Once you figure out what you want to do next year, break down the steps necessary to accomplish your goals and put them on your calendar. Be specific. If your goal is to get in shape, write down how you will know you have achieved that goal. For example, "I will exercise for 30 minutes 4 times per week. I will go to the gym and swim twice per week, and I will do yoga twice per week." You will be much more likely to follow-through if you find activities that are enjoyable. I really struggle with wanting to exercise, so this year I decided to join a recreational league for a sport that I find fun. That gives me the structure, and the motivation to keep my resolution.
3. Look at what you need to let go of - (goals, projects, thoughts). These things may have worked at one time, but they no longer serve your life. Sometimes we get so over-scheduled that we never take the time to see if these activities that fill our day still feed our needs and the things that we value. Then look at what worked for me last year--personally, professionally, and financially.
4. You work hard. Don't forget to celebrate your achievements and your life! Give thanks for the blessings in your life. This type of celebration gives you the energy to stay motivated and enjoy the new year.
Right now, before you do anything else, I would recommend you pull out your calendar and block out a time in the next week to go over these questions, and make a plan for your year. Don't just think about the answers in your head, but actually write them out. So, unlike my friend in the comic, you will not screw this up, you can rock this year!