As another new year is upon us, millions upon millions of people have already carved out their resolutions for the new year. Some will want to lose weight, others will want to make more money, or possibly even get rid of a bad habit. The Google search definition of the term resolution is the decision to do something or not do something.
It also yielded a second definition as being the action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter. I would almost bet that for those who will be declaring a New Year resolution for 2017, haven’t put significant thought to the steps that they will need to take to see their resolution to its logical conclusion.
2016 has been a huge discovery year for me. It has opened up many new doors and opportunities, it has closed some, and it has taught me a lot about myself and the things I need to add to life and those things that I need to eliminate. That is why I am ditching the new year resolution bandwagon and jumping on the new year solution train.
According to the same Google search, the definition of solution is the means of solving a problem or dealing with a difficult situation. I think that so many people are running through life with the anticipation of just getting by, majority are living paycheck to paycheck, and for so many they are putting down one vice just to pick up another.
While many might disagree with me here, I personally believe that the difference in always having to create a new year resolution year over year or enacting a new year solution are the calculated and thought out steps of how you will achieve a new beginning or outcome and only move forward rather than looking to stop a habit that you keep repeating.
Below are my five keys to make your solutions stick in 2017 and beyond:
1. Set Your Goals
Setting your goals is vital and while many say that they have goals, there is something to be said for writing them down and consistently looking at them every single day. This daily reminder is important because you are more likely to move towards solving the problems your goals are based upon by always having them in your windshield.
Also make sure that your goals are those meant to please you first and not to please others first. It’s important to know that the more realistic you get with the goals you want to achieve, the more realistic others will get around you in terms of helping you get there.
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins
2. Limit Your Circle Of Influence
Shrink the circle of those you call confidants. What I found to be an issue for me in 2016 was having a lack of focus on achieving a goal first before I started to try and set another one or even move on to a bigger one. I also noticed that I had too many mentors and was a part of too many groups that I was using to help me, guide me, and learn from.
What I learned is that having too many voices is more of a crutch than a help for any person looking to improve their situation. Get very clear first on who you are and what you want to truly achieve and then build a tight knit circle of those around you that will, no matter what, help push you towards your achievements and keep you focused on the tasks at hand.
3. Create A Habit Of Consistency
Consistency is a behavior that everyone should be looking to create for themselves in the new year. It shows diligence, professionalism, and an overall sense of dedication to one’s self. The muscle memory you will build through a consistent routine of action day after day will not create short term wins but will rather build the blueprint of long term gains.
By creating consistency in your daily routine, activities, personal and professional actions, you are setting yourself up to become more trustworthy by your peers, confident in yourself, and self-aware of what truly matters most on your path to achieving your goals. This won’t be pretty, and will sometimes be boring, but it will pay off in the bigger picture down the road.
4. Prioritize Your “Needs” First
Too many people have a “wish” list or a want-to-have vision board. The problem with this is that these things are great to want but for many are not a need or solve an immediate problem for them. That is why, in my opinion, every year the majority of resolutions are those that weren’t fulfilled from previous years.
How many of you are still trying to stop smoking or still trying to lose weight? How many of you are setting resolutions to make more money or buy a new car? Ask yourself this, do you need more money or do you need a new car? Let’s get more specific. Do you need to make a million dollars or do you want to?
Making your needs a priority first will only laser sight your focus and keep the main things the main things. It’s not a bad thing to want big and fancy things in life, but if you are truly trying to create a better life then its the needs that must be accomplished first.
“It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.” – Bruce Lee
5. Make It Personal
So you want to make an impact? You want to help others? How can you effectively do that if you haven’t accomplished your goals first? Someone once told me that it is hard to talk to a millionaire if you have never made a million dollars yourself. That hit home with me because what he was telling me was that I should focus on making my first million and then discussing with others how to make my second.
By getting personal or even a little selfish in achieving things for yourself first, you will only help strengthen your mindset and build the confidence in others that will help you along the way. There is an old saying that the only person who can help you is you; however, you can find some true guidance along the way to make that journey a little less painful but only if you are truly being honest with yourself about what you want to achieve.
Stop recreating the wheel or even resetting the same resolution every year. Stop waiting for the new year to roll around before you want to try change your situation or even improve your life.
Get serious about solving your problems and developing habits of change because you are ditching a new year resolution for finding the solutions to those things that have held you back from achieving all you’ve always wanted to achieve.