Setting a New Year's Resolution You Can Keep

Maybe I’m the only one, but over the years I’ve paid less and less attention to New Year's Resolutions. Rarely do you hear of someone who set a resolution that radically changed their life.

This year is different. This year I’m sharing with you the secret to making a New Year’s Resolution you can keep.

Identify a Powerful Why

The first secret to setting a New Year’s Resolution you can keep is to identify why you have set it.

If the why of my resolution is to lose weight so I can wear smaller jeans and receive compliments, I’m unlikely to follow through.  Instead, if my why is because I want to model a healthy lifestyle to my kids and extend my years to see my grandkids, then I have a powerful why that motivates me to my goal.

TIP: If you are unable to find a powerful why, you might not be making the right resolution.

Set Attainable Goals

This applies beyond resolutions, really for anything you wish to accomplish in life. According to a Harvard Psychologist, resolutions often fail because we do not choose reasonable goals.

Start with your overall goal. It could be something like, “I want to get a job.”

Next, break it down into sub-goals. This could look something like:

· Create a compelling resume

· Modify online presence (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, website, etc.) to reflect the image I’m trying to present

· Identify the industry and type of job I want

· Join a networking group in my target industry

· Through networking or personal relationships, set up three informational interviews with people currently in the industry or role

· Apply for 25 jobs

Each of these sub-goals are attainable, reasonable, and necessary in the process of getting a job. Further, I encourage you to create sub-goals that can be completed in a short period of time – such as a week. This helps you stay focused.

Write It Down Using 6x6 Methodology

According to a study from Gail Matthews at Dominican University, people who write down their goals are statistically more likely to achieve them. Further, in one of her studies, she tracked a graduating class in which only 3% of the class had written down their goals. Twenty years later, that 3% was earning 10 times more than the rest of the class.

The 6x6 methodology is a concept created by Bill Hybels, pastor and author of Axiom: Powerful Leadership Proverbs. He reasons that since we are pulled in so many different directions, it can be difficult to remember our main priorities and spend our time and energy on those things. Creating a 6x6 gives us permission to say no to good things to focus on great things.

Identify six priorities or goals to accomplish in a six-week period. Since we did this above by creating sub-goals, we’ve already broken our main goal into six attainable, brief goals.

I take this one step further and identify the dates at the end of each week of the six-week period. Our goal above would look like this:

Jan. 8th || Create a compelling resume

Jan. 15th || Modify online presence (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, website, etc.) to reflect the image I’m trying to present

Jan. 22nd || Identify the industry and type of job I want

Jan. 29th || Join a networking group in my target industry

Feb. 5th || Through networking or personal relationships, set up three informational interviews with people currently in the industry or role

Feb. 12th || Apply for 25 jobs

Take a few minutes to listen to how 6x6 was born and why it works.

Print or write it and post it somewhere you will see it every day. As you complete each sub-goal, cross it off.

Last, and most importantly, tell someone! Start by commenting on this post to share what your goal is and identify your why.