Just 10 days until New Year's Day!! Are you ready to take a look back at what you have accomplished in 2007 and take a look forward at what you plan to accomplish in 2008? Are you ready to make 2008 better than 2007? If you really want to make and keep a New Year resolution don't put it off until the last minute. Don't make a hasty, champagne-induced list on the back of a bar napkin at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve. Start today. Begin dreaming and brainstorming about what you'd love to achieve, create, experience, be, learn, do, feel, see, or have in the New Year!
Clarity of thought and purpose will enable you to take a dream from start to finish, turn a resolution into reality and make a goal happen. When you know 'what you want to achieve', 'why you want to achieve it', and 'how you're going to achieve it' it takes the guess work out of daily activities. Planning and forethought are vitally important 'first steps' if you want to achieve a dream, replace a bad habit with a good one, learn something new, create or achieve something. When you have a plan and a process by which you can systematically approach your activities anything is possible!
As a starting point, consider the I Resolve To Formula. It is a simple, common sense way to begin the process: Start with a cherished dream, one in which you have enormous desire and interest. Turn that dream into a specific, one-sentence resolution. Make that resolution a reality with daily goals that can be achieved one at a time, one day at a time.
Dream + Resolution + Daily Goals = Success, Achievement & Reward
When making New Year Resolutions and mulling plans for dreams and goals folks often make things harder than they need to be. Rather than starting with that long, tired list of resolutions that we think we 'should' make, why not make just one resolution - one about which you have true desire, passion and interest. Forget about that long laundry list of resolutions that you make and fail to keep, year after year. That decision alone increases the odds of success exponentially. Embarking on the journey with clarity of purpose, a dream about which you have great interest and passion, and a systematic process removes nagging questions and doubt about 'what to do first' and 'what to do next'.
I preach about pursuing one dream, one day at a time because it has worked so well for me, year after year. Throughout my life I have made dreams and resolutions a reality by following this simple, common sense approach. I long ago made a commitment to stop smoking, exercise daily, write, build a business, excel at photography, earn college degrees, own a home and work from my home. Those are just a few of my Lifetime Resolutions, my dreams. I don't believe in making resolutions and checking them off my list. I make them and keep them with me for good.
A key to my success is that I make just one major resolution and pursue just one life-changing dream at a time. To do otherwise is a recipe for quick failure. Our lives are packed full of activities as it is, it's no wonder that we don't have the ambition to tackle a long list of changes that we think we should make. It's no wonder that most people abandon their Resolution list after days or weeks. The list exists, but the passion, commitment, and desire is lacking.
This year can be different. Change the paradigm. Think outside the box. Don't be afraid to color with a red crayon instead of the same blue one you always use. Change the way you think about dreams, resolutions and goals. Instead, try my fomula for success and apply the I Resolve To Do's, they're simple, easy to use and easy to understand:
- Dare To Dream: Open your mind and consider all the wonderful possibilities.
- Decide: Make a firm decision, a personal commitment, a promise to yourself to pursue that dream today; to make it a Lifetime Resolution that is with you for good.
- Define: Turn that dream into a specific, one-sentence resolution that provides clarity of purpose. For instance, I Resolve To exercise for 30-minutes daily by walking, working out with weights, swimming, doing Yoga, and biking.
- Develop A Plan: Do your homework, then turn that knowledge into a written short and long-range plan that includes, daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly goals, timelines, milestones, and a system of making course corrections, and giving yourself rewards for achievement. Keep a Daily Resolution Diary and do daily and weekly Check-Ins. Your plan is a living document that will grow and change as you grow, learn and change.
- Do It Daily!: Each and every day take one small step - achieve at least one goal - that will enable you to make your dream, your resolution a reality. Try to devote at least 30-minutes each day to your dream, tell your friends and family and enlist their support. Find buddies who can make the journey with you, seek out a mentor who can provide advice, join a club or take a class to learn new things and lend motivation and inspiration to your quest.
As you plot your course, don't forget to consider the obstacles - all the many things that can go wrong, or will stand in the way of progress, including obstacles of our own making. Consider the I Resolve To Don'ts:
- Procrastinate: Put an end to the Someday, Someday, Someday Syndrome. Do It Today. Stop waiting for tomorrow.
- Give Into Fear Of Success Or Fear Of Failure: Embrace your fears and your mistakes. Understand them, learn from them, so you can overcome them and move forward with confidence. Obstacles will appear like dandelions on a Spring day at times. Identify the obstacles and prepare for them. Knowledge is power and it will help you to move past your obstacles and fears.
- Get Overwhelmed Or Discouraged: Give yourself the gift of time to achieve your dream and make your resolution a reality. Pursue your resolution one small step - one goal - one day at a time for one year. If you have a rough day today, know tomorrow is right around the corner. Patience, passion and persistence will get you through those bleak, rough days. Reward yourself, often, for successes, victories and milestones.
- Grow Bored, Weary Or Burned Out: Set a realistic pace, be realistic about your goals - what you can achieve by a specific date. Remember you don't have to move mountains overnight. Novels aren't written in a day, college degrees take years to earn, getting in shape takes time. In short, dreams take time and hard work that's why it's so important to make a resolution that you'd love to achieve. You have to want to spend time working on it each and every day. Above all, vary your activities to keep things interesting, take breaks and be kind to yourself.
- Give Up!: Keep track of your successes, your hard won victories and use them to fuel the fire of your passion and to motivate yourself on both the good and bad days. Keep your eye on the prize and know in time you will succeed.
I think about my dreams, resolutions and goals each and every day - 365 days each year. To make and keep New Year resolutions I truly believe you should make each and every day New Year's Day. You should view each day as a brand new blank slate - a clean sheet of paper on which you will write that day's story. Above all, you should make each and every day count. If you're committed to your resolution to that degree, your odds of succeeding are far greater than if you and work on it occasionally.
If you want to successfully fulfill a dream, keep a New Year Resolution, or achieve a goal, writing things down is also vitally important. I advocate keeping a Daily Resolution Diary. I track my own progress each day in spiral notebooks and on calendars that Is receive from charitable organizations that I support. Writing things down enables Resolutionistas - those folks who make Resolutions, keep them, and enjoy the journey - to brainstorm and build concrete plans, to chart progress, clearly view when milestones are achieved, and most importantly to build in rewards for progress and hard won victories.
I carry my spiral notebooks and calendar with me in my purse. That helps to keep my dreams, resolutions and goals front and center. When I have a few spare minutes, I pull my notebook out and do some planning. Personally, I try to do Daily Check-Ins in the morning because they enable me to plan my day and schedule at least 30-minutes or an hour into my day specifically for my dreams, resolutions and goals. That's not realistic for everyone. If you can only check in a couple times during the week, and once each weekend, that works too. The point is to check in frequently, so your dream is a clear daily priority and so you can grow your plan, make course corrections, adjust your timeline and most importantly, devote some time each and every day to your project.
Each weekend, I carve out an hour or two to sit down in a quiet spot with my coffee, notebook and calendar. I spend that time noodling my 'Things To Do' Lists - what I achieved that week, and what I plan to achieve - the next steps for the coming week, month and quarter. Planning ahead is another key ingredient of achieving dreams, resolutions and goals. It's not enough to know what you need to do today and tomorrow. You need to know the next 10, 20, 50 steps. That clarity of thought and purpose enables you to be confident about your plans, activities, and ultimately your success.
Why not begin today. Each one of us has dreams, resolutions and goals - why not pull one off your list of Lifetime Resolutions and 'go for it' today. Make it a priority in your life during the coming New Year. Rather than live a life of regret for all that you 'didn't do', be grateful and happy for all that you have, all that you are, and all that you 'do' in your life.
Remember: I Resolve To Achieve My New Year Resolutions, One Resolution, One Day At A Time For One Year. It's your choice. Do it today. Turn your resolution into reality in five simple, common sense steps: Dare To Dream, Decide, Define, Develop A Plan, and Do It Daily. Make your resolution a permanent Lifetime Resolution, something that's with you for good! Above all, Be A Resolutionista, someone who makes resolutions, keeps resolutions, and enjoys the journey! Let's Go For It!
Need More Inspiration? Wear Your Resolution! Make Every Day New Year's Day. Make Every Day Count. Visit my resolution shop by clicking this link: http://www.cafepress.com/iresolveto
Kim M. Simpson - December 21, 2007
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