Soderquist Blog

How to Keep Your New Year's Resolutions

Posted by Soderquist Leadership on Jan 18, 2017 8:00:00 AM

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We're now 18 days, or roughly two work weeks, into 2017. How are you doing on your New Year's resolutions so far? If you haven't set any yet, it's not to late to start!

However, research suggests that only 8% of people who make a New Year’s resolution actually accomplish all of their resolutions. So here are a few practical steps you can take to help you keep yours this year.

  1. Set tangible goals. When I am working with a client I sometimes ask the question “how will you know that you improved in this area by this time next year?” For example; if you say you want to be more physically fit this time next year, you could take a Body Mass Index, Resting Heart Rate, Blood Pressure and then take them again in 12 months and see how you did. Did you improve? The important thing is that you can measure progress, and can celebrate even slight gains.

  2. What does a win look like? In relation to the 1st point, do you have to achieve 100% of your goals or just some of them to be a success? Try and define success in measured terms in advance so that a win is a win!

  3. Don’t forget the mental! Many who make resolutions begin with being fit, losing weight, saving money, getting out of debt, but often they fail to address improving their mental health potential. Read more, watch less TV. Join Toastmasters so that you can push yourself mentally to write and prepare presentations and speeches. Take up yoga. Learn to journal and/or meditate. Learn to take long hikes. Ride a bike. The physical aspects of some of those are great, but they also give you an opportunity to sharpen your mind.

  4. Enlist a partner. Find someone who will encourage you, invest time following up on how you are doing, and will check in with you without prompting. Maybe they even partner with you in your endeavor. In 2013, I set a goal to do the Ironman Arizona as a self-gift for my 50th birthday. I enlisted my friend Charles. Although he didn’t live in the same city as I did, he agreed to do it with me and, in the process, he encouraged me to train, even when I didn’t want to. He routinely checked in to see how I was doing but he was not judgmental. It was like having a long distance coach.

  5. Don’t be afraid to recalibrate along the way. Maybe you stepped out there and made a pretty aggressive resolution but know early on that it might be too great a hill to climb, lower your expectation, but keep improving. Redefine the win!

What are some of your goals this year, and how are you doing so far? We'd love to here from you in the comments below.

Want to become a better leader this year? We've got you covered! Download our latest eBook, 4 Critical Skills for Leaders.

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Written by Doug Turner
Facilitator, Soderquist Leadership

Topics: Leadership, Practical Tips & Tricks