I shared in a recent series that I am taking a non-traditional route in regards to my New Year Resolution. Rather than make a bold statement, I’m claiming a single Word.
But for the traditionalists out there…I wanted to share with you 3 bulletproof ways to make your bold new resolution stick.
First, look within. Discover what unfulfilled need your resolution meets. If you want to lose weight and fit into a size 4 dress, what is the need that goal will fulfill? To figure this out, use the following format:
If I <insert goal>, then I will <insert perceived benefit>. Repeat this if-then sequence until your heart breaks or you get so happy you have to cry. For example:
If I lose 20 pounds, then I will look good in a bathing suit. If I look good in a bathing suit, then I can have more fun at the beach. If I have more fun at the beach, then people will see what a great person I am. If people see how awesome I am, then I will have more friends. If I have more friends, then I will feel better about myself…and on until you find the deep roots that feed your superficial desire to lose weight.
Your resolution has to be meaningful. Keep digging…
Next, consider others. Often times our resolutions don’t impact us alone. They may impact others just as much as they impact us. If your resolution is to earn a promotion at work, consider how that will impact your family, co-workers, your customers or clients. If you know that you’ll have to put in over-time, how will your family react to getting less time with you? Do you have a co-worker who is also vying for the position? How will you navigate through the competition without creating a stressful environment? Ask your customers and clients about their perspective on the promotion…how can you serve them better? What can the company or business do to improve their experience?
If your resolution doesn’t consider others, you’ll step on toes, break bonds, and otherwise strain relationships that may be meaningful or important. Seek support, do not foster opposition.
Discover your strengths, don’t just focus on weaknesses. One of the most powerful events of my past year was discovering my Top Five Strengths. After I made that discovery, I no longer felt inadequate. I felt accomplished, proud, and equipped to carry out my tasks.
The problem with making resolutions to fix yourself is that, when you focus on your weaknesses all the time, you perceive life as a constant struggle, an endless upward climb, like trying to reach the summit of Mt. Everest with a compass and a walking stick.
But when you discover your strengths, you are no longer stuck climbing unfamiliar territory; ill-equipped and lost. When you know what you are good at, you know what tools you need, you have them with you, and you simply need to make minor course adjustments.
If you have already committed to a resolution, started exercising more, drinking less, quit smoking, started being nicer to drivers in rush hour traffic, whatever – take some time to apply these three components and make this is a resolution that will stick for you.