05 Jan Make 2015 Resolutions Work for You!
Traditionally we make New Year resolutions at the start of the year as a way to set goals and expectations for the upcoming year. Resolutions could be as simple as living a healthier lifestyle, saving more money, learning something new, living in the now, etc., but by February, many of these resolutions will already be a distant memory. To avoid letting New Year resolutions fade into the background, PINC (with some help from our friends as well as our own experience) has come up with two great ways to keep and achieve your 2015 goals and resolutions.
One way to achieve your New Year resolution is by setting up a process for accountability. Accountability, as defined by businessdefinition.com, is the obligation of an individual or organization to account for its activities, accept responsibility for them, and to disclose the results in a transparent manner. This concept can be applied in many aspects of your life. To increase accountability, develop a buddy system or a small group of friends to check in with or work together towards a goal. By having the support of others, you can increase the likelihood of achieving your goals. Having a group also working towards similar goals who make the effort to text, call, email, or video chat, will keep all of you motivated while also helping out anybody who begins to lag.
Another way to achieve your New Year resolution is to be specific about it. The more specific you are with a goal the more manageable it will be. Goals should be measurable and have an end point. The best way to ensure that you are being specific is to set the goal and ask yourself: "who? what? when? where? why? how?" If your goal is to 'save money' you have to break it down! For example: 'Save Money' for What – a vacation, an emergency fund? When – every paycheck/once a month? How much – $25, $50, $100? How – open a separate savings account that will automatically pull money? The difference between “I’m gonna save money in 2015″ and “Every 15th of the month my checking account is going to automatically pull $50 to place into a savings account, so by December 1st, I’ll have $550 to book a 5-day all inclusive trip to the Dominican Republic” is clear. By being specific when setting your goals, you facilitate the process of achieving them. A specific goal requires you to set a plan in advance, so you don't have to feel so overwhelmed if your goal hits some bumps in the road. Specific goals end up being more attainable because they're well thought out and planned rather than put off to the last minute.
Here are some suggested resolutions and processes:
- Create a Vision Board Set: Vision boards are great if you don’t know where to start when it comes to organizing your goals or resolutions for 2015. They help you creatively brainstorm ideas and map out a game plan to attain them. Vision board parties are great for a Girls' Night with your friends or family! Plan an arts and crafts nights with your daughters or nieces or with girlfriends and sisters over a couple of bottles of wine. Once you have your final product be sure to hang it in a spot you’ll see everyday such as near your bed, on your desk, in your binder. It provides great motivation!
- Show Gratitude Every Day: Buddy up with a friend, sibling, or partner and express two things you're grateful for everyday. Establish a time frame to define how long you plan to daily express your gratitude: for a week, a month, 100 days, a year, or even longer! Decide on a process; it could be as easy as setting up a WhatsApp group where you share what you're grateful for and are instantly notified when someone else has posted what they're grateful for. It may seem odd at first, but many people do it! I had four coworkers who set up a private Facebook group where they would post what they were grateful for everyday for 100 days. Additionally, I knew a couple who, for two weeks, told each other two things they were grateful for every night before going to sleep. From speaking to my friends and coworkers about this, it's very clear to me that simply stating what you are grateful for everyday makes you much happier and helps you realize how blessed or lucky you are! Set up a process that will lead to success by planning it out with a group of friends and enjoy the happiness that comes from gratitude!
- 6 Goals for Every 3 Months: This is one of my favorite New Year Resolutions. Buddy up or create a trio that sets up 6 goals for 3 months. The goals are broken down to:
Following the specific guidelines above, identify a goal for each category. For example: professional – to switch workplaces in 2015, I'll attend XYZ resume workshop, have XYZ person look over my resume, and send out my resume using XYZ websites all in the next three months. Health – to feel more energized, in the next three months, I’ll incorporate XYZ days of dance/cardio/spin to my week, spend one lunch break a week taking a mile walk with XYZ coworkers, etc. Love – to meet someone new in the next three months, I’ll attend XYZ events once a month, sign up to XYZ online platforms and log on daily, and schedule three dates a month, etc.
These are just examples of ideas for each category and basic outlines of how to set up each goal in a way that will help make the goals more attainable. After the first three months, you reflect the outcome, evaluate the effectiveness of the process, and establish a new set of goals or improve on a previous goal until the end of the year.
The keys to setting successful New Year resolutions that you can actually stick to are accountability for your actions and being as specific as possible in setting your goals and plans to establish a process that is designed for success. Now, what are your resolutions and what is the plan?
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