Let’s be honest. We are in the 2nd week of 2018. How many of us have already failed or forgotten about our New Years Resolutions? How many of us are still trying to figure those out?
I know that I have fallen into both roles many times in the past. This year, I am still in the process of planning my resolutions because I want resolutions I can stick to. I want resolutions that are more than something I think about in January. I am going to walk you through a process of making resolutions you can stick to.
Words are important.
So, let’s start by defining what a resolution is and what it is not. A resolution is defined as a firm decision to do or not do something. Doesn’t that make the whole New Years Resolution thing sound easy? All you need to do is make a firm decision to do or not to do something. The bad news is that a resolution without a plan will probably fail. Only 8% of people achieve their resolutions and 80% fail by February.
I witnessed this happen year after year when I worked at a fitness center. In January the gym was flooded with new members. By March the gym was back to normal, with only a few of the new faces sticking around. Don’t give up yet you can be the new face that sticks around. You can be in that 8%. Put my Four P’s of Resolutions to work for you.
Resolution to Goal
The first step to making a realistically achievable resolution is to take your resolution from that firm decision to a goal. A decision no matter how firm, means nothing if you don’t do something about it. A goal has a deadline. A goal is a decision with an end date. The top New Year’s resolution that people make is to lose weight. So, let’s practice with that example.
Resolution: I am going to lose weight.
Goal: I am going to lose weight by December 31 of this year.
Goal to Great Goal:
A great goal is big, achievable, specific and written down. Simply by writing your goal down, you have a greater chance of achieving it. Making it specific will make it achievable. Once you know
Goal: I am going to lose weight by December 31 of this year.
Great Goal: I am going to lose 50 lbs, and keep it off by December 31st of this year.
Great Goal to Realistic Plan of Action
If you have gotten this far with your resolution you are ahead of the pack. If you want to increase your chances of achieving your goals you need to take things one step further and create an Action Plan. One way to do this is to brainstorm all of the ways you can achieve the goal. Once you have all your options on paper you can begin selecting the best options for you and build a plan.
Action Plan for losing 50 lbs by Dec 31
(This is just an example of what I might include if this was my goal, not a suggestion that this is how you can lose weight)
* Track food intake daily
*Break down how many lbs you need to lose each month to achieve your goal
* Get a personal trainer or create a workout and nutrition plan
* Work out X number of days per week
*Replace 1 meal with a healthier option each week
*Find a support group, a workout buddy or accountability partner and set up daily, weekly, & Monthly check in’s.
* Pray Daily for Strength
* Make a list of nonfood rewards
* Add deadlines to all possible action steps and put them on your calendar.
P= Partner Up
Action Plan to Partner Up
Once you have an action plan there is another important step that many are apt to skip. Find an accountability partner to share your goals with. This works because it is harder to give up when you know someone knows what you are doing and will be checking in with you. You can also join communities and groups of like-minded people online or in person.
Knowing you are not alone in your quest will equip you to succeed and a community can provide a wealth of encouragement and knowledge. Which brings me to my own personal method of making my resolutions.
P = Pray
Can you skip this step? When I make my own resolutions and goals I may fail or succeed. When I am relying only on my wisdom, wants, and strengths it is always harder and more overwhelming to reach my goals. That is where prayer can be a game changer.
Going to God and asking for his wisdom and guidance before making a firm decision to do something or not to do something always gives me peace, clarity, and a focus that I can’t get on my own.
I encourage you to take this step. If you have already set goals for the year it isn’t too late. It is never too late to go to God and ask for his guidance. It might just stop you from wasting valuable time on something you were never supposed to tackle. It might just give you the clarity that you are on the right track. It might reveal another goal altogether. When I invite God along, follow his leading, and rely on him I am set free from relying on myself.
This happened to me this year. I decided to choose a focus word, theme word, or soul word to base 2018 around. I love words and It sounded like a neat way to keep focus. I dug through a list of suggested words and picked one that I liked.
Then in a later prayer, God gave me a different word. With the word came a promise, clarity and focus that I did not have the word I picked on my own. I will be sharing my F Soul Word for 2018 and why you might need one too in an upcoming post.
P= Put Your Goals In Front of You
The last P is to put those goals somewhere you will see them every single day. You want as many visual reminders of your goals and dreams as you can make. It is easy to loose focus if your goals are shoved in a notebook in the back of your desk. Here are a few ways you can keep your goals front and center. Tell me how you do this! I would love to know.
- Create a vision board
- Create a graphic with words and use it as your screen saver on your phone and computers
- Pick an object that relates to your goal and keeps it around you. If your goal is to lose weight you might pick out a goal outfit and keep photos of it on your desk, phone, or even in your car.
- Write your goal on every page of your wall calendar
- Post it’s on your bathroom mirror, tv, or radio in your car.
- Write it down every single day.