Make Plans, Not Resolutions

Here we are on the cusp of creating New Year’s Resolutions.  We hastily come up with them off the top of our head and share them at parties. They are almost never written down. We know how that usually goes. Maybe you are one of those who actually accomplishes their resolutions but the majority of us don’t. That’s documented by study after study.
Even when we start with good intentions, it quickly fades.
resolutions meme - I'm opening a gym called Resolutions. It will have exercise equipment for the first 2 weeks and then turn into a bar for the rest of the year.In fact, one of my favorite memes is the one about opening a gym called Resolutions. After the first two weeks of the year it turns into a bar!

More Than Resolutions

What IS significant about New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day is that it is a symbolic opportunity to start over.  We are starting a new year and for many that means a fresh start; an opportunity to start over.

Orient Yourself

However, a new start requires more than just the resolve. We have to know
  1. Where we are now
  2. Where do we want to go
  3. What do we need to do to get there

Reflect and Plan

Planning beats resolutions by helping you target your work.

It is likely that during the time period between Christmas and New Years Day your business has slowed down a bit. Even if it hasn’t, you should be able to set aside some time during that week. Try to make it at least about 4-8 hours total.

1. Reflect

For the first part you are going to make two lists. One list will be looking back at what you actually accomplished that year. Be generous. Even if things didn’t go exactly as planned and even if it was a big surprise, write it down.

Now list things that you wished you had accomplished during the year. On this list, include things you planned but did not accomplish. Also include opportunities you missed.

The purpose of this is to first see that you actually got things done; even if they aren’t numerous. The second purpose is to see what you want or need to move forward.

2. Target Goals

The next part is to make your list of what you want to accomplish. Take a look at what was unfinished from the past year. Is any of it still relevant? If it didn’t get done, what got in the way? Is that roadblock still there? How will you get around it?

Don’t rush this part. Think it through. Think about where you want to be in a year’s time. What do you want to be proud of? How will you make the biggest impact on others? What will help you add more value?

3. Make a Plan

Now that you have your annual goals, it’s time to create a roadmap. It needs to include at least monthly, if not weekly, activities that move you closer to your goals. In some cases, it may be even daily.

For example, if you want to trim down a little and lose a few inches off your belly, there are likely weekly and perhaps even daily activities you need to do to get there. Determine what those precise activities are and how often and how long you need to do them each time. In other words, create a timeline of activities.

4. Fill Your Calendar

Finally, add everything to your calendar. I mean EVERYTHING! What gets scheduled gets done. Block out times for each activity you need to do to accomplish your goals. Those calendar items become daily reminders to work on your goals and they set aside time to do it. I know for me one of my biggest hurdles is a very erratic schedule. Blocking out the calendar helps.

5. Be a 1%er

Don’t try to do it all at once, but do it intentionally and do it daily. Focus on simply Improving yourself by 1% a day. That doesn’t sound like much but it can be a multiplier. Think about it. Just 1% a day builds on the 1% the day before. After a year, you haven’t grown 365%; it’s actually many times over that!

A great year is ahead of you IF you are willing to take the time to plan one. This is the time.

Need to bounce some things off someone or need a little help? Drop me a line at psimkins(at) or call me at 321-355-2442.