"Ask Marsha H."

Have you made your New Year’s resolution yet?

If you haven’t, then don’t…at least not yet!

I am a big fan of goal setting.  I strongly believe that setting goals, making plans and writing them down is a powerful process that helps you think about your future and gives you a road map to follow.

However far too often, plans are made and goals are set without much forethought about how to follow through or realistic dates by which they will be realized.

As a career & life coach, I suggest a few pre resolution setting exercises that can help you to stick with the goals that you set.

First, allocate some quiet time to reflect.  I know that this in itself can be a challenge but you owe some quality time to yourself.

  • Conduct a year end review – devote some time to think and write down those things that went well for you over the past year or several years and what you would like to do more of in the future.  If you have never been through this process you will be amazed at how much you can learn from past experiences and how you can make the new year even better.
  • Be honest with yourself – you will only complete resolutions and goals that really matter to you so think about what you really want to accomplish this year. Think about what success will look like and what it will mean for you. What do you want the end result to be? Then identify goals to help you get there. Also think about the consequences of not making the change.  It is your choice.
  • Set or reset your priorities – This is a Big One!  Time is usually the biggest excuse for lack of follow through. So before you start, pay attention to how you spend your time now.  Do you spend more time on something that may be fun but that is less important to you?  If so, and you do not want to give up the fun, divide your time between the two.  An example might be if you spend an hour a day on the internet and your goal is to increase your networking, take ½ hour of your internet time to reconnect with someone you want to network with.  A short email, note or phone call can prove to be very beneficialOr if exercising is a goal but you cannot miss your favorite TV show, bring the exercise mat or weights with you and exercise in front of the TV or during commercials.
  • Prepare and practice – decide beforehand what you will need to get started.  A journal to document goals, ideas and progress; equipment, dedicated space, etc. and then try to make daily, or at least weekly progress.  Major goals can be overwhelming so start by building up to the change.  Try to do something, no matter how small that moves you toward your goal.  Remember that things that are done consistently become habit. Don’t let minor slips discourage you, just pick back up and continue.  It is never too late to regroup.

With these tips in mind, review a few things that you would like to accomplish this year.

Set dates during the year,  at least monthly, to review your progress and celebrate your accomplishments.

You have a choice to chart your own course.

Make this year the best that it can be by making simple shifts and setting goals that you can stick with.

Happy New Year.