Wednesday, February 13, 2013

How To Stick To Your New Year’s Resolutions (now that January is gone)

January 1st has come and gone. Have your New Year’s Resolutions done the same? As a society we've come to use the phrase New Year’s Resolutions as a synonym for all of the things we want to accomplish in the coming year. So how do we ensure that we stick to our guns and accomplish all the things on that list? Well you can start by throwing away that list of resolutions!

New Year’s Resolutions are not only outdated but overrated. There, I said it. Goal setting and goal accomplishing is not a onetime occurrence but a lifetime (and lifestyle) commitment. Success does not happen by accident. True success comes from preparation, planning, and execution. My favorite fashion icon, Coco Chanel, once said “Don't spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.” Success will not just happen, you have to seek it! This is probably why New Years Resolutions ultimately fail. We feel that great things will just happen because it’s a new year and a new beginning. WRONG. If you were not working towards a promotion last year, you probably won’t receive one this year. If you were not trying to lose weight last year, you probably won’t fit into that new dress by February (but if you do please share your secret!)

In my other life I serve as a coach to individuals who are often stuck or attempting to make a significant transition in their careers. If I had a penny for every time I’ve heard “next year I’m going to go back to school”, “next year I’m going to ask for that promotion”, “next year I’m going to get more organized”, “next year I’m going to leave this dead end job”…. the list goes on, and on, and on…this mindset is a breeding ground for procrastination. Day 1 doesn’t mean January 1. Day 1 is right here, right now.

Here are a few tips to help you REALLY meet your goals (without waiting until January 1st):

  • Once you’ve decided on your goal create a one-year plan, six-month plan, and even a one-month plan of progressively smaller goals that you must reach to achieve your ultimate goals. Let’s say your ultimate goal is to get a new position or a promotion in your current job. Your smaller plans would include things like continuing your education, attaining certifications, and gaining more hands on experience.
  • Write your goals down and keep them somewhere visible. My favorite place is the bathroom mirror. Every morning I’m reminded of what I’m trying to accomplish that day, that month, or that year.
  • Celebrate milestones (but don’t forget to invite your LBDC sisters!)
  • Constantly re-evaluate your goals along the way. If your focus has shifted or things aren’t going the way they should, go back to the drawing board.
  • Don’t go it alone. Share your goals and dreams with those closest to you.
  • Get a mentor. Take advantage of the experience, education, ability, and imagination of other minds.

So let’s accomplish some goals this year and be sure to share your accomplishments with us. We want to know that you’re living life to the fullest. Burn those old fashioned resolutions and start realizing new success!

~Shantell Malachi
Director, LBDC Richmond

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