- Reduce stress
- Get a promotion
- Get a new job
- Expand my network
- Be more organized
Here are some ways to make a promise to yourself and actually keep it.
1. Keep your list short. It’s better to choose one thing to focus on than to make a long list and get nothing done.
2. Start with the top 10 things you would like to commit to that will make a positive change in your life. Take a hard look at the list and narrow it down to one promise. That’s right — one promise that, if you can actually do it, will significantly improve your life. Start by crossing out five things on your list of 10. Now take the shortened list and cross out four more. I know this is hard. Why? Because we all see the new year as a great way to hit the reset button, to get rid of some those nagging bad habits that we can’t seem to control. Complete this sentence: Once I have done _____name the resolution______my life will be ______________________________________. Finish the thought so that you can be sure that whatever you are committing to spending your energy on will have a measurable impact on your life.
3. Remember that January 1 is just one day of the year; you can add to your list any time. Making too long a list right now can create the opportunity to sabotage your chances of success.
4. Post your resolution in places where you will see it daily, such as on your bathroom mirror and on your computer screen. This will help keep you focused on your commitment.
5. Treat your resolution as the most important promise you will make to anyone this year. How often do we make promises to others and move heaven and earth to keep them at the expense of keeping promises to ourselves?
6. Break your resolution down into reasonable steps and make them very easy to achieve. For example, if your resolution is to expand your network, the first thing you can do is to make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date. Once that’s accomplished, do some research on which groups you should join on LinkedIn. Next, make a list of people you would like to meet and see who in your network can make an introduction for you. Don’t feel as if you have to start going to three events a week. Just sharpening your networking skills slightly can go a long way toward making every interaction you have more productive. Consider what steps you will take in the first month and how you will you measure your progress.
7. Make changes gradually. It takes about 21 days of doing something consistently to establish a new habit. For your first 21 days it will be important to track your progress and be intentional about the change. At the end of each day, make a mental note of what went right and whether you need to revise your plan.
8. Get support. Consider joining an online support group with people who have made a similar resolution. Telling someone else about your goal and asking him or her to support you dramatically increases your chance for success.
9. Celebrate your milestones by doing something that you enjoy. Reward yourself for your progress. Think about how good you will feel (and how much your life will change) when you have achieved your goal.
10. If you falter, don’t give up. Don’t abandon your goal. Hit the reset button and keep going.
Think back on your resolutions from last year. Do you even remember what they were? Make this the year that you deliver on your resolution.