1.Pick meaningful goals and personalize them. Pick a resolution that will increase your happiness, reduce stress or make your life easier. So many people do the generic resolutions of lose weight, go to the gym or quit smoking, While these have value, they are pretty generic. Picking a more personal or meaningful goal may help you dedicate yourself to change. For instance, one of mine is to get to the office a half hour before my first client session of the day. This way I can get organized, get the mail, return messages, and brew a cup of coffee, ultimately putting me in a good mindset for the rest of the day. I'm hoping this new habit will eliminate some of the stress of traffic enroute to the office, waiting for the elevator that is invariably slow on rushed mornings and of getting frazzled managing last minute client phone calls.
2. Set small specific goals instead of general ones. For example instead of resolving to "lose weight", commit to exercising three days a week or only eating out once a week. The big goal of losing weight is too general. After all, once you lose one pound you're technically done. And resolving to lose 20, 30 or 40 lbs can be setting the bar too high. Breaking it into smaller steps is likely to be more successful and easier to track your success.
3. Be realistic with your goals. If you haven't worked out in months or even a year, your resolution to go to the gym everyday is doomed to fail. Set your sights at a more realistic goal of maybe getting to the gym three times a week. Otherwise you may quit as soon as you miss one day at the gym. Most people who resolve to exercise more fail by the third month into the year. Perhaps their goals were set too high.
4. Share your resolution with others to increase your accountability. Your best friend, spouse, kids or parents can be great reminders (even when you don't want them) to keep you on track.
5. Have a plan. Often writing down your plan to refer back to it and track your progress will help you stay on track. For instance, if you plan to declutter your house, come up with specific steps. Maybe it would involve tackling one room every two weeks, tackling piles of papers, purging closets of old clothes, and setting up a system for tossing, keeping and donating items.
6. Don't have a "Plan B". This discourages you from going full force at your goal if you know that there is an alternative. It makes giving up way too easy.
7. Don't get down on yourself if you fall short one day or week. Pick yourself back up and move forward. Don't fall into the all or none trap. A year is a long time. It's not a sprint, it's a marathon. So keep going.
So resolve away to make 2015 a great year. Small changes or big, just do something! Make it personal and meaningful. And hopefully on New Years Eve, you can celebrate your success!