The New Year, New You mantra is just that…a mantra. As soon as the clock strikes 12:00 a.m. signaling a new year, do you change instantly? Of course not. But perhaps you have some goals you would like to begin the new year with, in the hopes of creating a “new you” persona.
The downfall to this kind of goal making is that it doesn’t “stick” for most people. Striving for change takes work. And it will take longer than a few weeks to achieve it. According to Forbes, February is when all those well-intended goals fall by the wayside.
Change for the Sake of Change?
Making a change because others around you seem to be following this yearly pattern? That type of ideology may not be the best way to ring in a new year. There are a couple of reasons why well-intentioned goals become easily forgotten a month or so later.
For starters, many feel like they must have some new goal or objective to strive for in order to begin a new year with. So the commitment to keep these arbitrary goals may not be there. Secondly, if the goal or objective you’re seeking was not fully thought out, or if you decided to seek a “new you” for the wrong reason, without an action plan in place to achieve the change you seek, it may not come to fruition.
Commit to Worthy Goals
So how do you succeed in keeping the changes you’ve planned on making? With commitment. While the new year is a perfect time to make some changes for the better, how does one actually commit to a worthy objective or two?
First, determine what change you want to make. What is your motivation behind it? Is it time to become more of an expert in your field? Is it time to consider new employment? Once you have an answer or two to the change you seek, then put it into action.
Keep Yourself Accountable
Smaller goals are a great place to start. Small, more attainable objectives, can be the positive reinforcement you need in maintaining your larger goals, as they may help keep you motivated. If you truly want to make a change, try these four techniques to hold yourself accountable.
- Create a realistic list, along with a reasonable timeline. Making a realistic list of what you’d like to achieve, along with a reasonable timeline, is always a good way to reach any goal. Setting too many goals for yourself may put too much pressure on you.
- Make a list of smaller, attainable objectives. Now that you have your list of goals you want to achieve in the coming year, break it down into attainable objectives. Deciding you will run the entire company in one month is a pretty hefty, unrealistic goal. Instead, running your team in such a way that a promotion would be possible within a year may be a more attainable objective. Regardless of what you want to achieve, breaking that large goal into smaller, more practical objectives may help you produce better results.
- Formulate a plan, create a checklist. Once you’ve broken down those large goals into smaller ones, formulate a plan. Having a visible checklist is not only a great reminder of what you’re trying to accomplish, but is also a great way to visually see that you’re reaching your goals while keeping you on track.
- Motivate yourself, set a deadline. Creating a realistic deadline for yourself may help motivate you more than an open-ended timeframe. Adjustments can easily be made when needed so you don’t go off-track. Don’t be afraid of the change that may be waiting around the corner for you.
Check In With Yourself
If you thought being productive during the holiday season was hard, keeping to the new goals you’ve set for yourself may be harder. Change always is. Be sure to check in with yourself, give yourself some wiggle-room on deadlines while still holding yourself accountable. Be sure to create a positive atmosphere for yourself.
And, if you need some assistance achieving the change you’re looking to make, reach out for help. Executive coaching can certainly help you with the goals you plan to make for the year. Contact Executive Coach Deborah O’Donnell at Rodas Coaching for more information.