As 2013 begins, it seems to be an appropriate time to appraise the process for both making and keeping New Year’s resolutions. I have not been one who made or kept New Year’s resolutions in part because they seemed trite and it was easier to be self-deprecating and say that they only lasted one day. To be honest, I don’t have any idea what my resolutions were last year. But I have been missing something. While resolutions may not be the right vehicle, the start of a new year is a great time to assess where you are and where you are going. In the words of Lewis Carroll, “[i]f you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” If I don’t know where I’m going in 2013, it doesn’t matter what my resolutions are.
With this in mind, it only makes sense to make some sort of resolutions or goals for 2013. As I approached this task, I reviewed a number of articles/blogs written about both making and keeping resolutions.
- Albrecht Powell reports that popular resolutions include spending more time with family and friends, exercise more, lose weight, quit smoking or drinking, enjoy life more, get out of debt, get organized, learn something new and help others.
- Peter Bregman suggests establishing areas of focus instead of setting specific goals. Peter identifies ways in which goals can have unintended consequences and offers an alternative – determine activities you want to spend your time doing. I like this approach because it seems more holistic than a narrowly defined goal.
- Shawn Parr offers 10 Resolutions to Make 2013 the Best Year Ever. My favorites are: grab the year by the ears; gratitude is the attitude, everything you do matters, and be yourself and be courageous.
- Alison Green suggests 10 resolutions for your career. My favorites in her list are stop complaining, thank people, break a bad habit, ask for feedback and take control of your career.
- Jeremy Dean offers a 10 Step Guide for Making Your New Year’s Resolutions. Jeremy says that New Year’s resolutions fail because they often require changing habits which is hard to do. He recommends thinking small, make a specific “if-then” plan, and then tweak the plan. He offers great advice on how to break habits.
- Margaret Heffernan recommends forgetting about resolutions and reviewing your biggest mistakes instead. She suggests that reviewing mistakes helps you learn and avoid making the same mistakes again.
- Margie Warrell provides 7 Strategies for Highly Effective New Year’s Resolutions. She supports knowing your why (connecting your resolution with what you are passionate about), being specific, writing down your resolutions, modifying your environment (people and places) to align with your resolution, narrowing your efforts, focusing on the process and forgiving your failures. Margie also reports that people who make resolutions are 10 times more likely to reach their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.
- Sara Sutton Fell offers 3 Career Resolutions You Should Make for 2013 consisting of being in control of your career, learn to market yourself, and regularly ask for feedback.
- Eric Barker writes the last damn thing you’ll ever need to read about New Year’s Resolutions and reports that the research on resolutions recommends picking just one resolution, make a plan, reward progress, realize you may screw up and keep at it. Eric also provides guidance on how to start good habits, how to break bad habits, and suggests writing down your resolution and making checklists.
After reading the last damn thing I’ll ever need to read about New Year’s resolutions, I decided I’d seen enough. Some of the common themes were taking initiative (grab the year by the ears, stop procrastinating, take control), expressing gratitude (gratitude is the attitude, thank people) and writing down resolutions. And so I considered my areas of focus and have created a checklist with 9 “must-do’s” — small steps to take each day ranging from drinking a glass of water when I get up to expressing gratitude. There are another 13 “nice to do’s” that I hope to get to. All the steps will help move me where I want to go. This time next year, I’ll be able to review and evaluate my progress to see if I have gotten any further toward where I am going. I encourage everyone to take a moment, think about where you are going, and take a stop in that direction.
- Realistic Resolutions (imconfident.wordpress.com)
- 3 Ways Having Gratitude Improves Your Job Search Results (chameleonresumes.com)