More than 90 million people made New Year’s resolutions last week and statistics suggest that only 8 percent (!) will adhere to them. Whether you vowed to log more miles on the treadmill or consistently update your blog, your dreams can become reality if you approach them logistically. After all, a goal without a plan is called a wish.
Here are experts’ tips to help you keep the change.
Don’t attempt a complete overhaul.
Focus on one thing at a time rather than overwhelming yourself with 50 goals. “Life ain’t a hundred metre sprint and changing your life (body, thinking, habits, diet) ain’t a two week process,” says Craig Harper, a lifestyle guru and motivational speaker in Melbourne, Australia. “Pace yourself and don’t try to undo ten (twenty, thirty, forty) years of less-than-desirable habits, behaviours and results by next Tuesday.”
Have an accountability system.
Social support is critical, says Paul Marciano, Ph.D., author of Carrots and Sticks Don’t Work . It takes guts to publicize potential failure to family, friends and colleagues, but doing so “dramatically increases” your odds of success because you’re creating an encouraging posse to help you out when you feel weak.
“I think it has much less to do with laziness or willpower and more to do with the type of goals people set,” says Bernard Marr of resolution failure. The international business consultant and author of more than a dozen books, including “Key Performance Indicators for Dummies” advises his clients to set goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant (i.e. something YOU want and not just something society suggests you should do) and time-bound. Find his detailed game plan here.
Work in four-week increments
A year-long resolution can feel daunting; a month-long challenge can feel fun. Sofia Faruqi, manager of the Global Restoration Initiative in Washington, D.C., outlined her well-rounded journey of self improvement in an article for Quartz Media. You might amaze yourself how much your business will prosper by tackling tiny goals (networking, blogging, visual merchandising, etc.) at a time.