3 Vigilant Strategies for New Year’s Resolution Success.
‘Tis the season to make (and break) New Year’s Resolutions. Whether it’s getting in shape, building a more successful business, improving your work-life balance, or becoming a better parent/friend/partner, we’ve all been there before. The resolutions are easy to make. Not so easy to keep. Heck, life gets in the way real fast.
I believe the reason why we fail so miserably, so often, with our resolutions can be traced directly back to complacency. It doesn’t take too long after New Year’s Eve (or the hangover on New Year’s Day) for us to get comfortable, maybe a little self-satisfied. The pants aren’t quite as tight once we quit the holiday snacking (and drinking) for a few days (or we start wearing those bigger pants we bought). That complacency makes it super easy for us to forget about the resolutions as quickly as we conjured them.
I wrote a book this past year titled Be Vigilant! Strategies to Stop Complacency, Improve Performance, and Safeguard Success. Here are a few vigilant strategies from the book that will immediately improve the probability of success for your resolutions. All of them can be implemented starting today!
1. Make Yourself Publicly Accountable and Commit to Transparency.
It’s one thing to commit to yourself that you’re going to give up drinking for a month, or that you’re going to get in shape, or that you’re going to be a more attentive partner. It’s another to publicly pronounce it so that you’re accountable. Put it in writing (or in social media). Designate timeframes. Commit to providing transparency in terms of updates (both positive and negative).
You’ll find that the accountability and transparency will naturally create vigilance. There’s more at stake – it’s not just the resolution, it’s now your credibility. You’ll even find that the increased public support you’ll receive from your community will fuel your desire (and ability to succeed).
2. Identify The Threats.
What are the circumstances/people that are most likely to jeopardize your success? Identify them upfront and pre-plan how you’re going to handle them. Is there a “friend” that will make it less likely you’ll meet your sobriety goal? Are there foods that, if left in the house, will undermine your ability to eat healthier? If you don’t actively understand and identify the potential threats to your continued success, the likelihood of that continued success will plummet. Instead, get eyes on those threats and scenario plan how you’ll handle them (or avoid them altogether).
3. Build Good Habits.
The benefit of a good habit is that it takes the thought out of a situation where thought decreases the probability of success. Say your resolution is to lose weight. Build the habit of having a glass of water and getting some exercise first thing in the morning. Or schedule your workouts on your calendar for the next few months. Treat them like meetings that can’t be moved (and schedule them on days/times where the need to move them will be minimized). Get to the point where you don’t even have to think about it. Because if you wake up each day and then start to think about when you’re going to exercise, it’s likely the exercise will never happen. Introducing micro-thought processes and mini decisions each day leaves too much room for failure.
The same principle applies if your resolution is to be a more attentive and present parent. Go ahead and schedule mini-appointments for yourself to connect with your kids, ask them questions, find out what’s happening in their lives, discuss their successes and failures. Schedule them for different times on different days, so you don’t become too predictable to them. Eliminate the thought to ensure more consistency.
Embrace these three vigilant strategies and start implementing them today to help stave off complacency and increase the chances you’ll experience resolution success!
Want to learn more about the dangers of complacency and how you can identify and fight it with vigilance? Check out my new book, Be Vigilant! Strategies to Stop Complacency, Improve Performance, and Safeguard Success.
Until next time, good luck with your resolutions and Be Vigilant!