Your Strategy for 2013 Resolutions

As the hats, noisemakers, and champaign pour out for the celebration of the new year ahead, many of us make New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, most do not even last the first week of the New Year.

Justine Bartko Thomas is a new contributor to The Brenner Brief.

Justine Bartko Thomas is a new contributor to The Brenner Brief.

If you’re like most of us, we make resolutions such as, “I’m going to go to a gym and lose weight,” “I’ll become more spiritual,” “this is my year to get out of debt,” “I will spend less time working and more time with family,” or, “this year I will become more active in charities.”  While all of these sound admirable at the time, over the course of days, weeks and months,  we soon find ourselves saying, “well the thought was there!” Things don’t work out exactly as planned.

Do not punish yourself if you have a set back. It’s normal. Do not expect that you will be perfect with every resolution you set your mind to accomplish. Keep in mind, perfection goals fail while “get better” goals succeed, according to Dr. Henry Cloud, a clinical psychologist, leadership consultant and author of the book “Boundaries for Leaders” to be released by HarperCollins in April 2013.

The key to remember is that if it was easy, everyone would be doing it, and still doing it. You didn’t get into what you’re trying to get out of over night. There is no quick fix — no magic wand.

A couple of key things to remember are:

  1. Do not set a goal that is not unattainable
  2. Make the time you need in your daily schedule to work through the resolution, and become accountable to yourself and others. Do not let people interfere with your progress.
  3. Surround yourself with a support group.
  4. Don’t get discouraged or stop trying.

If you can keep those four important guidelines you will have a much better success rate with your New Years resolutions. If you plan to lose weight you have to keep in mind the weight did not come on all at once, and you’re not going to get it off all at once. But, by working at it, each week you see a pound or two less on the scale or your clothes become a little looser. You are slowly but surely accomplishing your goal or resolution.

Dr. Cloud also suggests another good rule to follow would be to “set boundaries” for yourself and not to stray from them. You are the one who is trying to accomplish these goals, you must also follow rules to help guide you and accomplish the goal.

It is important for you to make the time in a hectic schedule for you . It’s called “me time.” Go out and by a new calendar or appointment book. Make sure to block of the time, daily, weekly, or monthly and make an appointment with “yourself.”

Remember, some goals are going to be more important to you than others, so keep telling yourself you will feel much better after just accomplishing one small goal; then, move on to the next.

Each goal accomplished will not always fulfill you, so choose your battles that are most important to you for the upcoming 2013 year.

One last thing… As 2012 draws to a close, write out on a piece of paper what you hope to accomplish in the upcoming 2013 year.  Take the paper and seal it in an envelope, and do not open it until New Years Eve 2014. Look back at the course of the past year to see if what you set out to accomplish indeed did happened. That would be the final fulfillment of 2013.

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