How did you go with your New Year’s Resolutions last year? Chances are you, like most others, didn’t make it through six months without giving up altogether.
Some common New Year’s resolutions centre on losing weight, getting fit, saving more, writing a business plan, quitting smoking, spending more time with family and getting organised.
Breaking your goals early in the New Year can set you on the path to pessimism. Before you know it, you’re back in your old habits.
Here are three ways you can shift your mindset to a place of positivity in the New Year.
1. Start with success
Think about the year that just passed and list your accomplishments. What went well?
Starting this way will give you a sense of what is realistic to achieve within the space of a year. It will also help to focus your mind on the positive.
Then think about the things that you would have loved to achieve, but didn’t quite get there. Assess this list critically. What are the things that will take your goals to the next level?
This is a great place from which to start framing your goals.
And you don’t have to stop using this approach once you’ve set your goals. Use it throughout the year to help you reset and refocus on your goals. Making it a regular process will keep you motivated and on track.
2. Mind your language
Language is important. Logically, humans are hard-wired to respond positively to the things they do want to do, rather than the things they don’t want to do.
Using positive language to frame your goals will make it sound like your goals will help rather than hurt you. This will cause a positive mental association with achieving your goal.
If you own a business, changing your goal from “Stop stressing about cash flow” to “Take 30 minutes every Friday to run report and monitor cashflow” sounds immediately more achievable – and is much more specific.
3. Acknowledge small milestones
It’s 3pm on a Friday. You’ve downloaded a report for an overview of your cash in/cash out position – well done. Give yourself a pat on the back. You now have a good mental picture of where you stand and can make adjustments in the following days/weeks/months if necessary.
Regardless of whether your goals are personal or for business, be kind to yourself. If you slip up, don’t beat yourself up – dust yourself off and try again.
Alternatively, “swap” or “make up” your goal in another way. If you get to 4.30pm on Friday and you haven’t had a chance to download the report to monitor cashflow, make a meaningful swap. How about committing to a 15-minute chat with your staff or 2IC about their perceptions of the week? What were the actions that got more dollars/customers/leads through the door?
Rectifying your “slip” in other ways can combat your guilt and bring you back to a place of positivity.
Focusing on success, using positive language and acknowledging small milestones will go a long way towards making this year’s resolutions stick.