It’s that time again. The time of year where you put the past year into review and start to think ahead to what great adventures you’re looking forward to for the next. It is also the time of year when everyone starts to plan for next year’s goals and create their New Year’s Resolutions in an attempt to create a sense of motivation and urgency going into the New Year. The problem is, the majority of New Year’s Resolutions will fail. If you’re not convinced of that, then you’ve never noticed the disparity between the amount of gym goers in January versus the amount of gym goers in March. It’s a lot. You can avoid being the person that gets excited on January 1st only to lose motivation and momentum by February 1st. You just have to frame your goals and your mindset a little differently than most. Quote by Benjamin Franklin about preparation It’s almost like he was referring to New Year’s Resolutions. Making New Year’s Resolutions stick isn’t just about creating one you can get excited about. You need to actually prepare a plan of attack. Most diets fail because the person on a diet doesn’t create a long term plan for success. Most attempts to save money fail because the person trying to save doesn’t create the long term plan for success. Not surprisingly, most New Year’s Resolutions fail because the person has not set up a long term plan for success. Before you can set up a plan, you need to take a look at what you want to achieve.

Be realistic.

Being realistic doesn’t mean you can’t create a lofty goal. In fact, go ahead and dream big. Run with the mantra “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” – Norman Vincent Peale. Whatever your goal is, be prepared to logically plan out a way to achieve. If your New Year’s Resolution is one that will take a considerable amount of time to achieve, plan that out accordingly and put together a timeline for milestones. Being realistic with your New Year’s Resolution is just as much about creating realistic timelines as it is creating a goal that is realistically achievable for you within the next year.

Find a way to track your progress.

Create KPI’s for your New Year’s Resolution. KPI stands for Key Performance Indicator. Create  a set of metrics that hold you accountable and let you know if you’re getting off track. Keeping your New Year’s Resolution on track is obviously important for success, but it is also important for continued motivation. The more little checkpoints you can mark off as a success, the more motivated you will be to keep going and keep driving progress forward.

Don’t get discouraged.

Road bumps on the path will happen. Don’t get discouraged if you have a momentary failure or face a challenge you weren’t anticipating. These things happen. Take that step back, evaluate what went wrong, adjust the game plan, and attack the goal with a better understanding of how to achieve. Look at the lapse in progress as a learning opportunity and grow from it. Make the New Year’s Resolution less of a New Year’s Resolution and make it a Goal for the upcoming year. Mentally, you might need to put yourself in the mindset that you are working towards a goal and not just another New Year’s Resolution. Resolutions are easy to dismiss because you’ve done it before. Create a goal that you are driven and motivated behind.

Make a S.M.A.R.T goal.

This is vital. A SMART goal is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time Bound. SMART. Specific: As opposed to just telling yourself you want to lose weight in the next year or get in better shape, make it specific. Put a number behind the goal. Make it as specific as you possibly can so you know whether you are on track or not. Measurable: Is your new goal something that you can measure and know whether you are continuing on the right track? Think about the KPIs behind your goal. Attainable: Go ahead and set up a lofty goal, but make sure you’re setting up a timeline that is attainable. If you create a goal that is doomed to fail from the start because the goal isn’t attainable in the timeline you are giving yourself, you will end up discouraged and unmotivated. Realistic: Again, make it realistic. Having a goal of becoming a billionaire within the next year and having no feasible way to achieve that goal isn’t going to lead to a achievement. Time Bound: Goals are dreams with a deadline - by Napoleon Hill This is where most people fail. They set a goal and give themselves no time table to achieve the goal. You not only need to create the goal, but you need to give yourself a date on the calendar that you will achieve the goal by. If you don’t, the goal is just a desire, and you’ll be unable to hold yourself accountable or create a plan. Dream big for the new year. Take a moment to reflect on the past year and think about what you want to do going forward. Think about what you can improve on, your desires, and your dreams. Write them down and create a plan that you can start attacking. Next year will be a great year for you. Keep motivated. We’re here if you would like any help.   Happy Holidays! Team PLN