How to Make Sure Your New Year's Resolution Becomes a Reality
Don't let another year go by without hitting those goals (big and small) that will change your life.
It’s that time again! It’s a new year, and even though we’ve faced some challenges in years past, some of us still have high hopes for the future.
So for those of you that have shouted your New Year's resolution from the rooftops (and those of you that are keeping it to yourself), here’s how you can ensure you actually make your goals a reality this time around.
Create a plan based off best- and worst-case scenarios
Many times, people make the mistake of setting skyscraper-high goals; then, when they have a bad day, those lofty goals become completely overwhelming. As a Forbes "Next 1000" nominated coach that helps women navigate the challenges in their lives so that they can produce and hit more of their goals, I teach my clients how to set their goals based on best-and-worst-case scenarios. Allow me to explain. Let’s say you are a new business owner who wants to go from $0 in recurring monthly revenue to $8,333 in recurring monthly revenue. To many, that would look like an incredibly mighty goal or New Year's resolution. But it doesn’t have to be.
If I were coaching this hypothetical person, I would ask her to break this goal into best- and worst-case scenarios. The best-case scenario goal is the goal people typically set. It’s their ideal outcome: losing 35 pounds in three months or quitting their job to open a bakery. Best-case-scenario goals are the ones we can only realize if absolutely every step along the way goes according to plan. Of course, this can be difficult and has the potential to disappoint, but I don’t teach people to shrink their goals. Instead, I have them set that big goal as their best-case scenario goal. Then, I have them set a smaller goal that they’d still feel proud of accomplishing, just in case life throws more curveballs than they can handle. I call that the worst-case scenario goal.
What does the best- and worst-case scenario of a goal look like? Let’s take the $8,333 of desired recurring monthly income as an example. I’d first ask this person if her goal is to make $8,333 monthly or if it is to bring her business $100,000 in revenue this year. Clarifying exactly what it is you want will eliminate the chances of feeling like you’re all over the place and failing. Most New Year's resolutions and goals get cast into the sea of forgetfulness because a proper goal wasn’t set — or a proper plan wasn't made. We’ve all heard of S.M.A.R.T goals. Goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, rewarding/realistic/relevant and time-sensitive. Are yours?
Related: The 5 Golden Rules of Goal-Setting
Once you've decided on your goal, what are some things you can do every day, week or month to help you get closer to accomplishing it? Take those things and think best- and worst-case scenario. Thinking back to the $8,3333 in monthly revenue goal, it’d probably be best to first focus on making some kind of consistent monthly income and then scale it; $8,333 a month would obviously be the best-case scenario goal, but I’m pretty sure she’d be just as happy making some kind of consistent monthly income in her business if she’d been netting zero for the past couple of months.
So let’s say the BCS goal (best-case scenario) is $8,333 a month and the WCS goal (worst-case scenario) is $100 a month. This guarantees you get small wins that make you feel good about yourself while you’re running the marathon for the big win. Many people fall off course because they are looking at the BCS goal as the sole indicator of success. Think of the BCS goal as your most desired outcome and the WCS goal as the outcome you’re willing to accept as you’re working towards that ultimate goal.
Combine the buddy system with professional help
When I say buddy system, I don’t mean picking a friend as your accountability partner and pinky-promising each other that this is the year you will be rich. If you are really serious about hitting your goals and accomplishing your New Year's resolution, pay someone to hold you accountable. Why? Because most people take things more seriously when they are paying for them.
Don’t be scared to hire someone to keep you on track. That can look like buying a course, participating in a program or getting one-on-one coaching. Accountability is good. For some reason, we can let ourselves down all day, but when it comes to someone else, we are compelled to try harder. Maybe it’s the praise, admiration or encouragement we get. People serve as great external motivators. Can you imagine how much more confident and inspired we’d be to do things if someone showered us with praise and enthusiasm? We’d take on everything. Heck, we’d be ten feet tall and bulletproof.
This doesn’t have to be a scary or daunting task either. I know most of us get performance anxiety, and we’d rather disappear than feel like we aren’t enough or that we are failing. That’s why I have people set their WCS goal that they feel confident that they can work to accomplish. It’s less scary than the big goal, and it makes people less likely to quit before they’ve even started.
If you want to increase your chances of hitting your goals and New Year's resolution, give yourself as many opportunities to succeed as you can. Start with the goal itself and create an ideal outcome while leaving room for the outcome you’re willing to accept while you’re en route to your big success. Hire someone to hold you accountable.Progress is progress, and continual progress is better than a one-hit success. Good luck on making your New Year's resolution a reality!
Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor