When my 23-year-old daughter Amanda started her job in New York City on October 1, she decided to join the company gym and be there at 6:45 every morning. That means leaving for work every morning before 5:45 a.m. to drive the 30 minutes to catch the 6:15 ferry to the city. I figured this wouldn’t last long. Boy did she prove me wrong. Come rain, shine, snow, or hangover, she is on the ferry at 6:15 a.m. I take my hat off and salute her. This is discipline at its finest, and she is reaping its benefits.
This is the time of year when most people start trying to figure out their New Year’s resolutions. I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions. Here’s why:
- Nobody sticks to them.
- We should not have to wait to until January 1 to start a new initiative if we are passionate about it.
It’s not that I don’t believe in resolutions and discipline; I just believe people are generally too careless about New Year’s resolutions. And over the years, as you break more and more of your resolutions, it becomes more difficult to believe that change is possible. But I’m a Sales and Leadership expert—you know I think change is possible! Here are a few tips on how to ensure your initiatives (resolutions) succeed:
- Passion is required. If it’s a “have to” or a “should,” it won’t ultimately stick. Only do it because you want to and you are motivated to do so.
- Set small goals. Do not go for it all at once. Break the resolution down into bite-size chunks so it does not overwhelm you. Meeting small goals helps to build momentum.
- Focus on results. Only make resolutions for actions that will yield results you are looking for. Resolutions that revolve around tasks that don’t generate desired results quickly fade away.
- Make it fun. If there’s no fun involved in executing your resolutions, success is unlikely. If you dread it, your resolution is probably doomed.
- Prepare to be disciplined. All resolutions require discipline; a resolution without discipline is nothing more than a pipe dream.
The resolutions that stick are those that create results you are motivated to achieve. These resolutions hold your attention and involve activities you are looking forward to doing.
If you need a litmus test, put your resolutions up against Amanda’s commitment to the gym. She would not be doing it if she did not look forward to it and did not like the way it makes her feel. Of course there are times when she does not want to get out of bed, but her motivation and commitment push her out of bed no matter what happened the night before.
Wishing you and your families all the best for a joyous holiday season, and a healthy, happy, and successful New Year!