Everyone who makes a resolution at the beginning of the year intends to succeed making their dreams become reality. Never have I heard any client say, "I'm planning to fail." What about you? Did you make any resolutions?If you didn't, were you expecting to fail if you did? Most resolutions dissolve within 6-12 weeks. The reasons are many, so I won't bore you with whys. Instead, let me share with you how you can turn over a new leaf in the New Year:
Goal setting begins with a well-laid plan. As you look over the resolutions you made, assuming you wrote them down, ask yourself if these are able to be done. More often than not, they aren't. In order to create an action plan you need to do these:
- Be specific in your goals. Each item must be one thing at a time with the ability to answer the question, "What do I really want to do?"
- If it is too big and lofty, write down what things you may be able to do in the short-term. For example," I want to read my Bible more." might change to, "I want to read one chapter of the Bible every day".
- Keep it simple. We can only accomplish three big things at a time. If you have a long list, shave it down to no more than three goals.
Now that you have your goals plotted, it is time to plan. How can you achieve them?
- For each goal, write reasonable, doable steps you need to make to accomplish your goals. You may need to revise them as you attempt them. Answer the question, "How?"
- Set dates when you expect to see the steps to completion.Answer the question, "When?"
- Ask for help if you are having trouble with these steps. You may need someone who will ask you the right questions.
We can lay out plans, but nothing happens until we actually do them. This will be a bit of trial and error since you might find flaws with your plans. If a plan fails, re-write and edit your action plan then get it going again.
- Begin your action steps on an easy to start day. Mondays are usually good since they are what we consider the beginning of our work/school week. However, exercise plans usually do better if we hit the gym he very next day after we make our plans. Food changes never begin well on the weekends, so start at with the shopping trip.
- Be consistent. You want a run of days that you can implement your change consistently.
- Have someone who will hold you accountable. The best people to do this are people who show a good track record of making changes happen in their own lives. This person could be a spouse, friend, pastor, health coach or anyone you have a close enough relationship with who can ask you, "Well, How is it going?" and you will be honest with them.
- Be open to God changing your plans. Sometimes, we think we have everything with our plans set, but we feel led to change them. Go to God in prayer asking if He is the one making those changes. If He is, then write the changes down and go that direction instead. Proverbs 16:9 says, "A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps."
Are you ready? Let's go!
God bless you in 2015!