The new year is a great time to develop one or more resolutions, but it can also be a time for watching those resolutions fall by the wayside. We get frustrated and disappointed, and we convince ourselves that change is almost impossible.
Rather than fall into this annual trap, I would encourage you to develop a different process of establishing goals for the new year. The most effective process I have found is to ask yourself the question, “Who do I want to be this year?” Breaking those questions down by your specific role can help you clarify your goals. For example:
- “I want to be a mother who ___,”
- “I want to be a leader who___”
- “I want to be a CEO who ___”
- “I want to be a brother or sister who ___”
This way, you start with a little bit of a vision for who you want to be for yourself this year and let that lead the resolution, as opposed to just setting a goal. The goal is the ‘what,’ but the bigger question is, “Who do I want to be?”
After you answer the question “who I want to be,” then start asking yourself the question, “What habits, or what disciplines, do I need to put in place so that I can become that person?” The answer to that question will help you to start putting those little incremental habits or disciplines in place and be consistent with doing those things. You might also say, “I want to eliminate some bad habits,” which could include cutting back on watching TV and reading one book a month or limiting dessert to once a week.
I would also encourage you to look at all the different areas of your life: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social, and financial, and apply the same process to each of those. Asking “Who do I want to be?” in each of those categories and incorporating some small initiatives in each of those categories will result in noticeable positive change.
The important thing is to not overdo it to the point that you feel overwhelmed or like you can’t keep up. Focus on just one or two things so that you do not have too many different things that you are wanting to accomplish. Good luck (you can do this!), and in my next blog post I’ll talk about why people fail at establishing those new year resolutions and the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful person.