As soon as Christmas Day was over, and the Valentines and swimsuits were set on the retail shelves, the non-stop talk about resolutions started! I am not going to add my voice or opinion to the resolution debate. If you want to make a list - make one. If you want to set no goals for 2014 - don't. If you believe there is something magical about starting on a new plan on January 1 - then there probably is.
I do know that people get pumped up when they set their eyes on accomplishing something and they do - personal achievement is a great motivator. So, if that's you, and you have something you really want to accomplish this year, I'm going to give you a simple action planning process that will increase your chances of being successful.
#1 - Pick one thing, even if you have a long list of things you want to work on, pick one thing (last week I suggested you pick the thing that you don't want to be thinking about or dealing with on New Year's Day 2015)
#2 - Write it down. Make it fun. Make it visible. Tell someone else about it.
#3 - Write it in appreciative or positive language... "I will ..." not "I won't... or I'll stop"
#4 - Use very specific language in your goal statement, but make it pithy - short - inspiring - passionate
#5 - Pick a goal that you want to accomplish, not one that someone else wants you to do - YOU have to WANT it
#6 - Make a list of reasons why you want to do this - benefits of achieving this - write an exhaustive list - why does this matter?
#7 - Picture or visualize you or your life with this goal achieved - if you can't picture it, you can't achieve it - feel free to add visuals to your action plan
#8 - Create a list of action steps. Think in baby steps. What will you need to do to accomplish this?
#9 - Who are you going to enlist to help you? What other resources do you need? You don't get hero points for doing this alone!
#10 - List all the reasons this will be hard. What will get in the way? If it were easy, you would have already accomplished it.
#11 - NOW, develop a workaround for every barrier you just listed. If you can picture the problem, you can picture the solution.
#12 - Measures - how will you know you are making progress? or if you are there?
#13 - Check in on this every day - first thing in the morning and last thing at night - set the intention
13 Steps seem like a lot, but remember you are only going to create this action plan for one goal. Please don't be tempted to come up with a long list of goals - go with one really important one and get it right.