The first of January is right around the corner, and like most Americans, you’re probably crafting a life changing New Year’s resolution. It’s that big promise you make to yourself every year that will have major implications on your self-esteem, future goals, and your overall quality of life.
Unfortunately, statistics show that more than half of all people who make resolutions fail to follow through with their plan in the first six months, and only 12% of us actually achieve our goals. OK, so maybe I found these numbers in a Wikipedia article, but I’m sure most people can agree with the theory behind them.
The reason so many of us (including yours truly) fail to follow through with our New Year’s resolutions is because of the size and scope of the goals we set. Lose 30 pounds by this summer. Find my future wife. Visit all 50 states in the country. Double my company’s sales for the year. These tasks are complex and difficult to achieve, creating the bloated failure rates cited above.
A New Resolution Every Day
I’d like to propose something that will radically increase your chance of success in 2012. Don’t create one, singular resolution for the year; instead, accomplish one new resolution each day (i.e. researching when to use a semicolon.) Rather than trying to lose 30 pounds, your goal should be to sign up for the gym on the first day. The next day might include monitoring your caloric intake, and on the third day you can walk 1 mile in the morning before work. Each day should have a clearly defined task that can be accomplished without a major investment of time or resources.
Breaking your large projects down into smaller, action-oriented objectives will give you a feeling of success each day, and keep you motivated towards your overall goals. Sports fans already know how powerful momentum can be, and the same concept applies to your personal achievements. Even if you miss a day, it should be relatively easy to get back on track and continue to move forward.
For business owners, this method is an excellent way to build a stronger and smarter company in 2012. Set aside a few minutes in the beginning of your day, after lunch, or before bed to finish your daily goal, and to write down a goal for the next day.
The best thing about this method is that you don’t have to wait until the New Year to start. Right now is the perfect time to take action and complete one task that will get you closer to your goals. Just like the pyramids were built one stone at a time, you can start realizing your goals each day of 2012 and years to come.