Unfortunately, by February, the gym that had been packed a few weeks previously is now empty. Habits creep in and behaviours revert back to the way things were before the vows were made. The bank account is emptied as the Christmas bills arrive and everyone is just too tired to work hard enough to make any progress on career goals.
Then everyone waits for the next months to pass only to begin the process again. The pattern repeats: make the resolutions, start out with enthusiasm and then try not to talk about the failures of not doing what you planned to do until January arrives.
I think I have a better idea. What would happen if each person made daily, weekly and monthly resolutions instead of yearly ones?
Let's think about how this might look:
- Daily - Try investing twenty focused minutes on a career goal. Perhaps you could clean out a desk drawer, register for a course or even write a short article about your work that you could share with others. Empty your loose change into a jar on your dresser and soon you will have enough money for the dream vacation. You could park your car a few blocks away from your destination and burn a few calories while you walk or take the stairs instead of the elevator. Do one kind thing for another person who doesn't expect it.
- Weekly - Review your bank account so that you are aware of the transactions that are being processed. Plan an activity that will take you outdoors and get your heart pumping. Clean off your desk before you leave the office so that you will feel some accomplishment and know that you can get a good start at the beginning of the next week. Write or telephone one person who you care about and tell them how they enrich your life.
- Monthly - Make sure that you pay your bills on time so that you have financial integrity. Go to the library and borrow the biography of a leader. Prepare an interesting, health-conscious menu plan for the next month. Write birthday cards for every person who will celebrate in the next thirty-one days and mail them (early is better than late). Write four reasonable and achievable goals to advance your career. Set a time to share coffee or lunch with someone who inspires you.
If and when you are making resolutions, it is important that you set yourself up to succeed. Rather than having January pledges that lead to February shame, focus on making small regular steps of progress every day. Doing so will allow you at the end of the year to say that you just experienced a beautiful journey - one positive step at a time!