Monday, January 1, 2007

Resolute Performance

Why do so many people make New Year’s resolutions only to be disappointed in their performance only months or weeks into the New Year?

It’s time to rethink our end of year rituals and do some strategic planning in our personal lives!

Many of us make New Year's resolutions, few of us keep them.
*25% of New Year's resolutions will be abandon in the first 15 weeks
*The average number of time's a New Years resolution is made is 10
*Those who manage to make a resolution that lasts for 6 months or more have often tried 5 or 6 times before finally succeeding

Tip on how to achieve the results you want:

Planning is your ally: Few plans succeed unless the ‘how to’ is built in. If one of your resolutions is to get in shape, put a detailed, specific plan in place to achieve that goal. Will you start with two workouts per week for the first month, building to three workouts per week in February? What exercises will you start with? What stretches will you do afterwards to minimize muscle soreness? Detailed plans will keep you on track in setting new habits for the New Year.

Write it Down: Put your resolutions in writing as well as your plans to achieve them. Keep these plans in a prominent place where you can see them every day. Your bathroom mirror, sun visor in your car or taped onto the side of your computer monitor are excellent starting points. Find one that fits your style and schedule. If we are constantly being reminded of our goals we subconsciously find ways to make progress.

Winners Keep Score: How will you measure your progress? Quantitative measures of progress are important. Find a way to put some hard and fast numbers to your resolution. If you want to be a ‘better parent’, how many hours did you spend with your children reading? How many evenings did you turn off the TV and play a board game or just a have good discussion about what your kids want to talk about? How many times in the last month have all your family been present at the dinner table? Any resolution can be measured if you put your mind to it. Aim to achieve your goals incrementally according to the numerical goals you’ve set.

Have a Plan B: Don’t expect perfection in the first few days or weeks. If your plan to quit smoking went up in flames Monday morning after that cup of coffee, don’t be discouraged. Review your plan and get back to it! Any good plan also has a plan to cope when the going gets tough. How will you get through that first, second and third urge to light up? Did you stock up on nicotine lozenges? Just like a toddler learning to walk, we need time to get good at what we know we can accomplish. Encourage yourself to do better next time and get back to your plan!

Praise Progress: On the first of the month take the opportunity to pat yourself on the back and brag a bit on the progress you’ve made! Those good feelings will keep momentum on your side and make the next stages of achieving your goal that much easier. Keep the focus, you can do it!

Make this year the year you attain your goals! Be resolute in your determination, disciplined in your execution, forgiving of setbacks and have some fun along the way!

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