Right about now, there’s a pile of 2015 New Year’s resolutions that have been unfulfilled, abandoned or simply forgotten. Most people start out with great intentions, highly motivated and ready to take on the challenge. Somewhere along the way, though, intention is diminished and motivation wanes. But what happens when you still want to achieve the goal? What can you do to get back on track? Or can you?
About this time each year, people are looking back at their resolutions with regret or in some cases evaluating their progress. In fact, about half of resolutions that are made go unfulfilled. It's pretty common that I hear from clients that they are frustrated that they didn't achieve their resolutions or that they regret abandoning them or that they think it is too late to start. All incorrect. What a lot of folks need is just a new way to do resolutions. A way that empowers them and puts them in control. So whether you are still waiting to start or if you're ready to start again, here are some ways to get your resolution mojo back:
Your “why” is not just the goal you want to achieve. Your “why” is more about who you are, what lights you up, what makes something a passion and driving force for you. It’s important that you find your why. It is that energy and passion that will sustain you and drive you forward long after your self-control, motivation or will power have disappeared. Once you know your why, write it down. Take a few minutes and describe your why. It might be a single sentence. It might be paragraph or more.
Revisit Your Resolutions
Hopefully you wrote them down somewhere. If not, that’s ok, you can do that now. Once your resolutions are written down, take a look at them. Ask yourself a few questions about them. Were they realistic on New Year’s Eve? Are they realistic for where you are now? Are they things you still want to do? If they fit where you are now, great! If not, take a few minutes to write down some new resolutions or update the ones you want to keep. Did you notice I said “write” again?
Set Your Goals
Once you know what you want to achieve, you can then define your goals. You want your goals to be as specific as possible. For example, if your resolution is to lose some weight, then you have to define what that means. Is it a number? Is it a dress size? You have to define your goal so you’ll know it when you see it and so you’ll know when you get there. More importantly, defining your goal is a key to making your plan.
Make a Plan
Some wise person said that goals without plans are just dreams. In order to achieve a goal, it is important to have a plan. The plan gives you a roadmap and the steps you need to take to get to your destination. A plan also gives you something specific to do. It defines the ACTION you need to take. A plan helps you to see where you are in your journey and provides a sense of control and accomplishment as you deliberately take each step. Your plan is likely to have multiple steps. You want to write down the plan because trying to hold all those steps in memory is difficult. You also want to be able to refer to your plan in those moments when motivation is waning.
Write It All Down
I know I said “write it down” more than once. Putting it all together and writing it down is powerful stuff. Writing it down makes it real. Writing it down creates an investment of time and a contract with yourself. Writing it down creates a memory and a tangible representation for you. Writing it down gives you a place to come back to when you need to remember your why.
Despite what you may think, it is never too late to go back and revisit resolutions. If those unfinished resolutions are on your mind, take another look at them. It’s never too late and every day is an opportunity start fresh.