Everybody's talking about resolutions today. My search of Technorati turned up more than 76,000 posts using the word. However, resolutions often don't work, and they may even be bad for your health. This is particularly true when we focus on trying to fix some perceived shortcoming (being overweight, for example).
It doesn't need to be that way. Here are seven alternatives to the resolutions tradition.
Just ignore the whole darn thing. It's just another day, right. Just keep on getting on with your life.
Set intentions rather than resolutions. (Thanks to Coach Jennifer Anderson for this idea.) Decide who you intend to become as you grow through 2009. Complete the sentence, "I am becoming a person who __________________."
Envision the future you are trying to create. As Elisabeth Kuhn suggests, complete the sentence, "This year, I see myself ____________________________." Take visualization a step further with Christine Kane's classic post on How to Make a Vision Board.
Try setting learning goals. Mine for 2009 are:
- Continue honing my coaching skills.
- Continue learning how to give and get the most value from social media.
- Learn how to effectively market my teleclasses.
- Continue soaking up everything I can find about leadership and entrepreneurship.
- Continue to learn about myself.
Ask questions to help you see who you are meant to become. Dave Ferguson's post will show you how to ask about your Purpose, Passion, Positions, Possibilities, Path and Plan and how to listen for the answers.
Focus on discovering who you already are and bringing out your natural talents. For help, get Tom Rath's StrengthsFinder 2.0: A New and Upgraded Edition of the Online Test from Gallup's Now, Discover Your Strengths, take the assessment and start capitalizing on what makes you unique.
Finally, if you simply love to make resolutions, at least do it in a way that will help ensure success. Try these tips:
- Start by understanding the WHY behind each goal. Do what's really important to you, not to someone else, and not to the should-er who lives in your head.
- Follow the suggestions offered up by the University of Maryland Medical Center, especially around taking "baby steps."
- Make your resolutions/goals S.M.A.R.T. - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Resourced (you have what you need to achieve the goal) and Time-Bound (i.e., with deadlines).
- Increase the probability you will achieve your goals by planning how you will achieve each one, committing to someone else and setting an accountability appointment with that person.