It’s exciting to set New Year’s resolutions and start off a fresh new year with big goals and ambitions. But the reality, as we all know, is that most resolutions are not kept. Common personal goals are to quit smoking, lose weight, work out regularly, volunteer, give more to charity, etc. Business related goals might include asking for referrals, recording a series of informative videos, starting a new initiative, writing a book, etc. Big goals with real intentions are exciting and momentarily motivating. But how to do we keep them?
I have looked at a few business people that have been able to set and keep resolutions and I will share four of their best practices.
1. Set very specific goals that can be measured daily or weekly to track progress. Schedule time to track the goals (i.e. every Friday before going home for the weekend).
2. Celebrate progress – even the little things. Studies have shown that celebrating wins, even small ones, can boost endorphins, a chemical in your brain. The release of endorphins can relieve stress, increase happiness, and cause you to want more. So celebrate!
3. Start off small and increase over time. Instead of saying you will make 20 proactive calls a week, for instance, start off by making one a day and increase it over time. The objective is to build momentum, not kill it.
4. Set real consequences. If you were to get fired from your job if you didn’t complete a project you may be more likely to finish it. What if you concentrated on the consequence as much as the goal itself? For instance, if I don’t complete one chapter in my new book by February 1, I will cancel my vacation planned for March!
Most resolutions aren’t kept even if we really want to achieve these new milestones in a new year. Make this year different. I am working on it too.