By Rebecca String
New Year’s Resolutions are vehicles for creating change in our personal and professional lives. They draw from our ability to clarify what we want to achieve and how we will do so. Creating resolutions is only the first step of the process. Fulfilling New Year’s Resolutions requires maintaining the initial momentum gained from creating the goal and following through with it past the first few weeks of January. To ensure success in all areas of your personal and professional development there are important ideas to keep in mind after the initial goal has been created.
Choose 3 Things
Streamlining and keeping things simple is a great habit to cultivate. In order to keep things as easy as possible, maximize how you use your ability to concentrate. Focus on three goals that will make the most difference in your life. Other goals can be added as the initial three are accomplished. This keeps you focused and lowers stress. Trying to do too many new tasks kills the momentum that is necessary to meet identified objectives.
Set time to Review your Goals
It is important to constantly review your goals so that they do not get lost in the daily grind. Bringing your goals to the forefront of your consciousness keeps you focused on what you’re trying to accomplish. For many, it is helpful to write down their goals every day. At the very least, review your goals a couple of times a month. You can’t know how much progress you have made if you don’t know where you started from. Finally, watching yourself progress keeps up your interest and your motivation to continue.
It is important to recognize that willpower is a limited resource. Every day our allotment of willpower begins with a full tank, but as the day progresses, each action we take slowly depletes the amount of willpower we have. It’s because of this that we find it easier to take part in destructive behaviors later at night. It’s also why as the weeks turn into months, we begin to convince ourselves that making exceptions will be okay in the long run. To minimize this effect, it is important to reduce the temptations faced each day. Cut out distractions and reduce the amount of energy spent on unproductive activities. Recognize when you move off track and then gently guide yourself back to the task at hand.
As we reach the middle of January, we encourage you to take a look at your goals as often as possible. Evaluate what you’re trying to accomplish to see what is working for you and what might need modification. Most importantly, don’t forget to reward yourself for staying on track.