The first day of 2013 is coming to a close and I have no strong desire to reflect on 2012. The thing that were supposed to happen did, whether I could control them or not. Were there things I could have done better or been more committed to doing? Sure! But you and I both know the old “spilt milk” cliché.
So sitting in my bed, surrounded by books both light and heavy (i.e. J.R. Ward and Steve Jobs), a glass of chilled water and the two gummy worms that I’m allowing myself as I wean away from my sugar addiction, Rihanna’s vocals are blaring from my bluetooth stereo and I am just as unapologetic as she is. I am unapologetically resolved not to resolve. I refuse to create a resolution.
The definition of resolution has always presented somewhat of an issue for me: A firm decision to do or not do something. I have complete control over my behaviors so it seems that I should just put resolutions in place and move forward but what I’ve found is that the firm decision to “not do something” is the part that always gets me. When I resolve firmly not to do something I feel a significant amount of disappointment when I have a minor flub (enjoy the moment, readers, I’m admitting a flaw, not a fatal one but a flaw nonetheless). “Slip ups” surrounding New Year’s Resolutions create a sense of defeat for me. I become mired in the monumental feeling of failing at a FIRM DECISION.
Rather, I’ve decided to apply an aspect of my professional nature this year in a personal sense. Putting aside resolutions that have no room for adjustment or review, I am setting goals; goals that are immutable at the end game but flexible and fluid as I travel toward them. The implementation of various “checkpoints”, reviewed and adjusted as necessary, will be the way that I stay goal focused daily. No crying in my soup the first time that I break a resolution (which is bound to happen if it includes giving up Starbucks or working out everyday), instead I’m going to celebrate the small victories on the path to an overall win.
I came to this conclusion when I compared my successes in my professional life to some recent “misses” on the personal side and the bottom line is if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. In the sales world, I set goals and put measures in place to achieve those goals. The goals are attainable if I work hard or smart enough and I conduct a weekly (and sometimes daily) review of where I am on the way to accomplishing the mission, including what I’ve done well, and what I need to revamp. The review doesn’t give me the opportunity to waffle and downside adjust the endgame but it does offer me the chance to perform an honest self evaluation which ultimately leads to editing based on which actions were successful and what I need to change.
My experience has been that people, self included, are more motivated to stay on course with a plan when there are smaller celebrations in the midst of it all. I guess that’s the only resolution that I would make in all of this, FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE and find ways to stay excited enough to work toward the goal.
Bottom line, I love the feeling of accomplishing a goal but am much more successful when I focus on how to get there, tracking my progress and rewarding myself as I hit milestones along the way. Find a way to make your mission enjoyable and you are more likely to stick with it!