How to (Actually) Accomplish Your New Year’s Resolutions
By Shawn Tolleson
January 31, 2012
Ah, January… the time to get to work on your New Year’s resolutions. A clean slate. Excitement in the air!
Have you ever noticed that some of the same New Year’s resolutions are on the list every year? And, along with the excitement and possibility of the New Year you wonder, what makes this year different? Will I really be able to accomplish these goals?
This year can be different! Read on for pitfalls to avoid and the five keys to success…
The top three reasons that New Year’s resolutions fail:
- The resolution is in the “impossible” realm. Often we articulate goals that are literally impossible in the time frame we are giving them. It’s important to note that no goal is impossible; rather, it might not be possible in the time allotted. When we do this, we doom ourselves to failure from the outset. Usually, we know this subconsciously, so we don’t give our goal our all, which also leads to failure.
- We have no structure in place to support us. Accomplishments happen in structures. Think about it. The gym is a structure for the accomplishment of fitness. Acting class is a structure for the accomplishment of acting skills. Why would our New Year’s resolutions be any different?
- We have no concrete plan for accomplishing it. All successful businesses have a business plan. Even if a fluke idea becomes successful, the business must have a plan for capitalizing on that success. That said, you don’t want your year to be a fluke! Your resolutions are the goals you are dedicating yourself to. So, you need to have a business plan for your acting career, a.k.a. your business.
The top five keys for accomplishing our New Year’s resolutions:
- Identify a goal that is not impossible, not predictable, but a “breakthrough". We’ve already talked about how an inaccurate timeframe could make a goal “impossible". “Predictable” is a version of a goal you’ve already done before. Goals are most powerful when articulated in between impossible and predictable, the “sweet spot” that is a “breakthrough".
- Put a structure in place for accomplishing the goal. Now that we understand why a structure is important, make sure to join or create one! You could join a career coaching class, or put together a group of dedicated “accountability buddies” that you meet with once a week. A word of caution in putting together your own group: Be selective! Choose people that really share your commitment, are accountable and truly supportive. Also, put some “structure” in your structure. A group of friends can quickly become a gossip-fest if your time isn’t well-structured.
- Enroll a team to support you, advise you, and hold you accountable. Nothing of any scope or magnitude in life happens alone. Even the Lone Ranger had Tonto, and they both had horses! In addition to accountability partners, you need to work with your representation as a team, you need a mentor (or two), a coach, and the support of your significant other.
- Develop a plan that includes a timeline with deadlines and milestones. Now that we understand how important a business plan is, create one! Your plan should include your goal, a timeline, and an action plan. Share it with your team to get their feedback.
- See it and share it everyday. Print out your goal and post it in places where you see it often-- your workspace, computer desktop, even your car. The more you see it in writing and put it out into the world, the more you will see it in your life.