The Solution to (failed) Resolutions

Are you making any New Year’s resolutions? Do you even remember your resolutions from last year? I’m betting you don’t, and I’ll also bet the reason why is that you didn’t write it down.

resolutions

Allow me to offer a solution to the failed resolution problem. I have personally never been a big fan of resolutions, simply because they fail far too often. I also don’t see the point of waiting to start something on January 1 as if it has magical and mystical qualities to it. Yes, it’s a new year and a new beginning, but anything that you want to start in the new year can be started today. That’s not tomorrow, it’s today! Tomorrow is full of even more tomorrows. Tomorrow can be endless, but today is today, and tomorrow it is gone.

It has been well documented that writing down your plans and goals greatly increases the odds for successful fulfillment. Writing down your plan is crucial. Most goals will not completed unless you write them down. There’s something about writing it down that makes it more of commitment. And, since resolutions are more often than not, “made to be broken”, I suggest that you don’t make any resolutions. What you should do is make a plan! After all, you wouldn’t start a business without a business plan, would you? If you are a married man, you didn’t propose to your wife without planning to buy the ring and planning to ask her to marry you. It’s not like you went to the movies and just happened to ask her over the popcorn, right?

new-years-resolutions

So make a plan for 2015. Make a plan for the entire year. Plan for your success. Plan time for new and old hobbies. Plan a big present for yourself or your family. Plan to do things that you have never done before.  Most importantly, plan for a great year!

Happy New Year, and happy planning, today, tomorrow and throughout the year!

You Say You Want a Resolution…

You say you want a resolution, well you know, we all want to change (the world)…. You say you got a real solution, well, you know…we’d all love to see the plan

I owe Lennon and McCartney a big apology for using their lyrics, but there’s a reason for that.  I’m going to offer up a “real solution” to the failed resolution problem.  It was only a month ago that I read blog after blog about New Year’s *resolutions*.  I almost wrote one too, except that I don’t actually make resolutions.  A month+ into 2012, I’d like to ask; how are your resolutions working out?   Have you already broken them?  Don’t feel bad if you did – I truly believe that resolutions are “made to be broken”. 

It has been well documented that writing down your plans and goals greatly increases the odds for successful fulfillment.  It’s worked well for me.  Every year, for the past decade or so, I’ve created a list of “things I plan to-do in the year ahead”.  Writing down my plans and goals has helped me go from running my first 5K race to eventually completing three marathons (one in Dublin, Ireland).  My lists have also included everything from learning how to ride a motorcycle to fulfilling my life-long dream as a blogger.  OK, so I never actually had that latter dream, but I have logged over 30,000 miles on a motorcycle, and this is my 2nd blog for 2012, so I’m on my way! 

Writing down your plans is crucial.  Most goals that I have completed did not become a reality until I wrote them down; and you can do the same by following this plan.  Your list should serve as a reminder; to help you stay committed to your goals.  If it’s the first time you are doing this, just “free-style”, adding as many thoughts as you can.  You can always pare it down later.  Remember, this is not a “bucket list”.  It is a realistic list of what you want to do this year.  Pipe dreams and wishy-washy plans are not allowed here. 

Review your list quarterly, to see if you are staying on track.   It’s not a static list, so feel free to change it as you like.   You can always add new ideas or delete a few ill-fated ones.  Your goals can be flexible, because sometimes life gets in the way of our plans, and sometimes our plans change.  That’s OK.  Just do a little honest analysis to see if it’s something that you still really want to do.

It’s not at all too late to start your list for 2012.  At the end of the year, if you didn’t accomplish a particular goal, but find yourself still wanting to do it, go ahead and re-add it to your list for the following year. 

Bonus: Year after year, you can look back at your plan/lists and see all the rewarding things you accomplished.  Whether it’s traveling to your “dream” destination, running your first marathon or starting your own business, The Plan will help you stay on target.  Always try to remember that there’s no failure in not fulfilling every item on your list, but just think about all you can accomplish if you follow your own plan.

So tell yourself, or sing it if you prefer…You say you don’t want a resolution, but don’t you know, it’s gonna be all right, all right, all right.  (a sincere apology once again to The Beatles).