A guest post from my Bradford Hancock (my husband)
It’s the time of year when many people are focused on the “R” word – resolutions. Some people just don’t try very hard to change anything, while others try too much. According to USA.gov, among the most popular resolutions are:
- managing debt
- laying off the smokes and booze
- dropping some lbs
Those are worthy resolutions and seem to be in reach as the new year begins. After all, it is a cleaning of the slate and anything is possible. Unfortunately, resolutions are not very sticky. In fact, they have about a 22% success rate according to a UK study and many give up altogether early in the new year.
Why don’t resolutions stick? I am no expert, but I feel there a few simple things you can do to increase your chances of realizing your resolutions:
1. Weed Your List – Like pulling weeds from the garden, your initial list of resolutions may need to be paired down. I originally brainstormed about 80 things I’d like to do in 2011. After some time and consideration, I narrowed that list to the 20 most important. The more specific the list, the better. Once it’s finalized….
2. Write Them Down - A goal not written down is just a dream. Writing down your finalized list of resolutions will give you focus. Put them where you will see them everyday. Next you need to….
3. Use your calendar to plan out your year - Depending on the resolution, it might lend itself to a specific time of year. Also it will help keep you accountable if you have a date plugged in. Now things might not go according to plan and you’ll need help so….
4. Surround yourself with like minded people - If you want to kick the smoking habit, for example, you can’t hang with smokers. Build a team of people around you who have similar goals for the new year. And when your support group isn’t around, you’ll need to…
5. Read to be encouraged – Put down the remote control, the tabloid, and the romance novel. Pick up something inspiring and encouraging to read. A great place to begin is with anything from John C. Maxwell or Norman Vincent Peale.
The beginning of a new year is always full of anticipation. I hope 2010 was a good year for you and that 2011 is even better.