"It is never too late to be what you might have been."
Novelist, George Eliot
Think of one thing you wish you would have done, say five years ago, and revisit ways you could do something about it today.
New Year’s Day… now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual. ~Mark Twain
The New Year is coming up soon with the tradition to make New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately the tradition is also to forget them the next week. Only 8% of people accomplish their New Year’s resolutions according to the Opinion Corporation of Princeton, NJ.
Get off to a good start with your goals. A good way to set the intent properly for success is to take each resolution and break it into actionable steps. Each step should meet the SMART criteria: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. If the goal cannot be defined using SMART, break it into smaller pieces until you can have bite sized chunks to start working on. In this manner, you will make progress and eventually achieve your resolutions.
You can know specifically what you want to achieve, what it looks like, and when you want it – but without a plan, you’re like a 2nd lieutenant who has a map and compass for the first time.
The next natural step after determining WHAT you want is laying out a plan to get it done.
Where many people make mistakes is assuming that having a plan is an all-or-nothing proposition: They need to have a totally laid out path from A to B, and then on to C and D, with no unknowns, and no changes. As I have said over and over again – You don’t have to get it perfect. Just get it started.
Not so! In fact, ask anyone who’s achieved anything of merit, and they will say that what they thought they were going to do wasn’t what ended up happening. But they’ll also tell you that committing to the first step was critical to their success.
Take someone who wants to lose weight. They know what they want to weigh, and they’ve decided to try a diet with walking 30 minutes a day. That’s all they need to get started because it gives them the next steps: To sign up for a meeting, attend the meeting, and begin walking.
What they can’t anticipate, though, is the weather. Or pizza night. Or the fact that they seem to be having trouble losing weight on the prescribed plan after a few weeks of success and need to shake things up a bit.
Situations change; that’s a given. Rare is the plan that is laid out in excruciating detail on Day One and followed without adjustments. You just have to be prepared to make changes along the way, but you also have to know your general direction. Without any plan at all, you are a victim of your circumstances, not knowing what’s going to move you closer to your goal and what’s going to take you farther away.
So after you’ve set your end goal in your intention, figure out that one next step and just take it. Trust that when you take that step, you’ll see the next one and the next, forward to success. You’ll know when you need to move left or right, but only if you move until the point you see ahead of you. Sometimes it’s only in retrospect that the whole path is clear, like the yellow brick road.