Another new year has arrived with all its potential and possibilities. Like turning a page, it offers a clean slate; a chance to start anew. Not that the challenges and disappointments of last year have disappeared, they just seem less weighty in the light of this new beginning.
I know that you’re reflecting on the year just passed and committing (or re-committing) to goals and objectives under the guise of “New Year’s Resolutions.” Before proceeding any further, make sure you position yourself to avoid these four self-defeating Resolution Traps.
The Purpose Trap. Often, we set a “resolution-de-jour” because it seems like the right thing to do. Goals work best when they are grounded by a higher purpose. Weight loss is simply a vehicle that leads to better health and a longer life. Without a deeper purpose, you will not be committed enough to fight the status quo and persist in the direction of your goal.
The Plan Trap. Too many people succumb to the myth that resolution-setting and planning is the same thing. Setting a goal is the first step. Planning is the process that confirms its achievement. Running a marathon in five hours by a specific date is a goal. Planning the activities required, by breaking them down (on a monthly, weekly and daily basis), is the basis for its accomplishment.
The Productivity Trap. Every resolution has a honeymoon phase during the first couple of weeks, driven by enthusiasm and a positive attitude. Setting a goal to learn a new language is great, but without a structure to measure progress, the goal quickly seems unattainable. Activity, without productivity, is wasted effort. Monitored effort stimulates action and motivates on-going commitment.
The Patience Trap. Even though you buy into the resolution-planning concept supported by a productivity model, the reality that this is hard work, it will take time and cause stress. The biggest challenge is always to convince the mind to stay the course. Patience isn’t a virtue; it’s the mindset that drives resolution success.
A New Year’s morning decision is easy but a New Year’s Resolution is a wonderful gift you give to yourself. Choose it carefully, unwrap it slowly, use it wisely and keep it close. By following these simple steps, you’ll guarantee that it supplies lasting value and immense satisfaction, after all aren’t you worth it?
Michael J Hughes, North America’s Networking Guru specializes in helping professionals increase results by improving their ability to maximize relationships. He has done extensive research on and is a specialist in, utilizing networking as a business strategy.His client list includes names like Dell, Royal Bank, Sales & Marketing Executives International, Sunlife, Workopolis and the University of Ottawa’s Telfer EMBA program. Michael can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org