A New Year is upon us. Thankfully the world keeps turning. Unfortunately, however, the clock keeps on ticking and we just keep getting older. Whether you’re into making New Year’s Resolutions or not, the New Year is a great reminder to get busy living or get busy dying.
When making resolutions, I like to keep a couple things in mind. These guidelines may be beneficial to you, as you set out to make your own, with whatever you’re trying to accomplish.
Make it Simple
If your plan is going to come to fruition, you have to be able to execute it regularly. A plan that is executable doesn't have a steep learning curve. It shouldn’t require a Master’s Degree. I played under 3 different coaches in my 11 years with the San Diego Chargers. The most success we had was under Marty Schottenheimer. He was a ‘hit ‘em in the mouth, take care of the football, and run the ball north and south’ type of guy. We had simple formations, easy game plans, and executed them at a high level because we could practice them frequently and replicate them regularly.
Make it Sustainable
The other important part about a New Year’s Resolution, or any goal for that matter, is that it should be sustainable. Choosing goals or resolutions that are unsustainable is setting you up for long-term failure. Even if you are to achieve short-term success, when your ambitions are built on an unsustainable foundation, you’re most likely heading for failure. You’ve no doubt heard that most people who lose weight on crash diets put the weight back on and then some when the diet fails them. However, when you adopt a sustainable diet, that closely resembles what life will look like when you’re done with the diet, you are building the fundamentals and habits that will last when you are doing losing that weight you put on through the previous year(s).
Make it Specific
The last thing I would urge you to do when making a New Year’s Resolution is to make it specific. This means making your goal something you can measure. How else will you know if you’re gaining ground, treading water, or sinking? Specific goals that are measurable provide you with specific data as feedback so you can make adjustments to your strategy. For example, if trying to lose weight, put a number on it. For example…”I want to lose 10% of my body weight.” “I want to lose 50lbs in 6 months!”
A statement like “I want to lose weight and get healthy” is too ambiguous! Say your real goal is to lose 30lbs. Setting a goal with a willy-nilly statement, like the one above, gives you an OUT when you end up losing 10lbs. Yes. You have lost weight. Most likely with that weight loss, you can claim to have gotten healthier, even if marginally. So, what do you do? You say, “Well, that’s good enough.” We’ve all done it before. You did make progress. But deep down you know you quit before your real goal (that you were afraid to say).
Hope that helps. Here’s to a New Year and all of the success you set your mind to!