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Hi, Kell here!
Welcome to the Work Smarter Not Harder Newsletter #34.
No doubt, you've heard the old saying about the best laid plans going awry. This certainly seems the case with most New Year Resolutions. Made in haste, with the best of intentions, resolutions made the first of the year more often or not seem to fall by the wayside within a few days, weeks or months. In fact, there are millions of people who can't even remember when they actually kept their New Year's Resolution and accomplished their goal.
However, this year you can change all that by following these six tips on how to keep your New Year's Resolution for 2011. These six tips include:
Tip 1: Give that new year's resolution some real thought
One of the reasons why people have trouble keeping their New Year's resolutions is because they either make the resolution in haste or they base their resolution on something someone else wants them to do or to quit doing.
It's much easier to keep a resolution that is based on your own wants and needs and is something you really want to accomplish.
So, instead of deciding you need to lose 40 pounds because you feel bloated from the Christmas dinner or that you are going to exercise an hour each day because Aunt Betty thinks you should. Spend some time thinking about what you want to really accomplish for yourself.
These five goal setting activities are right brain activities that get you thinking about what you really want to achieve.
Please share here with others those activities that have helped you brainstorm your goals.
Tip 2. Keep your new year's resolution realistic
If you really want to keep your New Year's resolution then you have to keep that resolution realistic. One of the best ways of doing that is by making resolutions over which you have sole control over the outcome.
For example, making a resolution to get a big raise may not be realistic especially, in these tough economic times. No matter how hard you work or how loyal you are to your company, your employers may simply not have the cash nor the inclination to give anyone a raise. So, basing your resolution on something or someone else following through may doom you to failure despite your best efforts.
If losing weight is your goal and something you really want to accomplish you still need to be realistic. Instead of making a resolve to lose all 60 pounds in a year, cut the amount in half. You'll have a better chance of succeeding if you don't aim too high and your success at keeping your resolution will help you to continue to achieve whereas, failure and set backs often lead to simply giving up.
I talk more about setting realistic goals with these tips for setting SMART goals.
Tip 3: Make a plan for success
Most people who achieve a goal do so because they take the time to plan how they are going to succeed.
Making a New Year's resolution with no clear idea how you are going to go about achieving your goal makes it difficult to stay on track.
Having a goal setting plan also allows you to divide a large resolution into smaller goals so that you can achieve your resolution by increments rather than the all or nothing approach.
These goal setting templates and action plan templates enable you to make a clear plan for success.
Tip 4. Allow for some back sliding
The road to success is always bumpy so if you really want to keep your New Year's resolution allow for a bit of backsliding. Making a plan that doesn't allow for the odd moment of weakness is almost a recipe for failure.
If your New Year's Resolution is to exercise three times a week don't set that resolution in stone. You are better off to set that three times a week exercise for at least forty weeks out of the year, which gives you a few weeks when if you slide and only exercise once or twice, you can still continue to move forward and achieve your resolution.
Tip 5. Reward yourself
It is easier to achieve a long term goal if you reward yourself along the way. For example, if you have managed to exercise for that hour three times a week for a month, then treat yourself to lunch, a new candle or simply an evening of being a couch potato.
By giving yourself small rewards you feel as though it is worth it to keep on task.
Tip 6. Share your achievement
One of the best ways to help you keep your New year's resolution is to share your achievement with someone who really cares. As you reach each goal, call your best friend or share your achievement on facebook. Sharing what you have accomplished will help you stay focused on your goal.
Share your new years resolution or personal goal setting story with us and then touch base to let us know how you are going.
By using these six simple tips you just may find that 2011 is the year that you will at last keep your New Year's Resolution!
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All the best,
Dr Kell and the team at Effective Time Management Strategies wish you all the best.