New Year’s Resolutions or New Year’s Reflections?

img_0286As we prepare for 2017 to roll in, I wanted to take a look at the concept of resolutions. There are folks that make them every year, swearing that “this is the year I’ll do blah blah blah”. Some keep the resolutions, while most fail to do so.

Others don’t waste their time. The thought being that they will break the resolution or that making a promise to do something worthwhile, like eating healthy and exercise, should be lifestyle changes totally detached from a “time of year”. They don’t want to make empty promises to themselves.

So what’s a leader to do?

I prefer to reflect on the previous year and take an accountability check of my current situation. Then, utilizing that information, I create clear goals with steps. This is a deeper exercise than making a resolution. Below are some suggestions for you to consider as 2017 becomes a reality.

1. Reflect on what worked well the previous year. – Make a plan to duplicate or continue those efforts. Create a gratitude list. Celebrate the wins and thanks those that helped.

2. Reflect on what didn’t work well the previous year. – Make a plan to not repeat those actions or to modify the behavior. Learn from mistakes.

3. Re-establish your personal moral code and value system. – This is the reason why you do what you do and the mindset you have towards prioritizing your time. (My list – Faith, Family, Friends, Health, Business)

4. Set Goals – Not resolutions, but actual goals. Don’t promise yourself, just do it. Sometimes we need to just get started. What’s the biggest thing you didn’t accomplish in 2016? What are the reasons behind not completing this? Is this something worth pursuing in 2017?

5. Plan well – Make a plan on how to execute and follow up, in regards to important projects. Your goals need realistic action dates and incremental checkpoints along the way. Outlook calendar is an excellent tool for this.

I’m sure there are many others techniques out there, but this works for me. It makes my approach to new goals more serious and meaningful.

I would ask you to do two things when implementing this strategy.

1. Write your list of answers to the above questions down.  Place them somewhere where you will see them everyday. Share with someone you trust.

2. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t stick with it from the start. Change is hard. Sometimes we fall off the bike. We’ll never learn to ride if we don’t get back on it.

If you make clear goals, with the right mindset, for the right reasons, you’ll be fine. As a child of God, NO weapon formed against you will prosper. Isa. 54:17.

Happy New Year! Stay blessed.

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