Early January is always a hectic time for me. The excitement of the New Year and all its possibilities gives me an incredible rush that both excites and terrifies me.
Everywhere I turn there’s an array of magazine covers, news articles, social media posts and YouTube videos all collectively seeking to inspire and motivate me to “live my best life” and “make [insert current year here] the best year ever!” It’s all quite intoxicating and a little overwhelming.
Now that the dust has settled a bit and everyone is back to work, my inbox and social media timelines are suddenly full of quotes and tips on how to stick to my latest batch of New Year’s resolutions. Quick confession … I was too busy being “inspired” to actually sit down and make any real resolutions to stick to. Looks like I may have missed a step.
It all sounds so good and like most people, there are a few different areas of my life that are all equally vying for my time and attention. So where is my starting point and why?
Here are a few unconventional tips designed to help you craft personal and professional resolutions or goals worth sticking to.
- Make a list and tear it up – Take some time to really analyze the difference between things you desire to do (i.e. your bucket list) and things that you must do (i.e. pay off outstanding debt). What is priority in your life and why? Often when you are able to complete the “must do” items, it can also open the door for opportunities to do the things we “desire.” Narrow down or tear apart your list until you have 3-5 things at most. This will be the blue print for your starting point. Once you accomplish these, you can always go back and create new ones. Inspiration isn’t a one-time deal, but this helps ensure you don’t become overwhelmed and lose focus.
- Remove the limitations: Sometimes fear of failure, what people may think or just the uncertainty of change will cause us to shy away from the things we truly desire to do professionally and personally. There’s always that tiny voice somewhere saying ‘what if it doesn’t work?’ Ignore it! A better question is ‘what if it DOES work?’ Take a chance or two in 2015.
- Create a strategy: Most of us would never undertake any project without some sort of idea of the end result. The same is true here. We must ask ourselves ‘what prevented me from getting this done before and how will I overcome these same obstacles this time? Also, what resources will I need and what’s my deadline to complete this (yes you must have one). Answer truthfully and make a note of your answers for the days when all that inspiration wears off.
- Train like a champion: We live in an amazingly advanced information age. Tons of data is literally available at the touch of our finger tips. Whatever you decide to do, find people who are excelling in that area and study their blue print. How are they able to do what they do so well and how can I apply that to myself and my organization? Study your goal backwards and forwards almost like an NFL player watching game tape. Learn from the good and the not so good.
- Self- maintenance: Whatever resolution you are inspired to pursue, it definitely has to be one that you’re willing to maintenance long-term. Consistency and commitment requires individual work and sacrifice. It’s always great to have a support team, but the responsibility for your success or failure will ultimately fall on little ole’ you. There are some things you just may not be ready to commit to do right now or to the work it requires. It’s ok to be honest. Allow yourself time to step back and reengage when you are ready.
- Action reaction: No amount of strategies, quotes or inspirational Twitter posts will ever do the work for you. In essence, stop reading (once you finish this blog of course) and start doing. Decide what you really want, draft a game plan and get busy doing something to get you closer to whatever your goals are for 2015.
Dijon N. Rolle is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.