It’s the new year! As usual, people take this time to reflect on themselves and sometimes choose to make lifestyle changes that will positively impact their life. Some of us know the familiar feeling of enthusiastically signing up for the gym January 1, and anxiously questioning our seriousness come February when the membership has only been used a few times. Setting realistic new year’s resolutions and successfully implementing them into our lives is possible. According to Joshua Howard, motivational speaker and CEO of Speaker Corp, doing some strategic planning can make all the difference in keeping your resolutions until 2020.
“A lot of people fail at their goals because they look at what aspect of their life they would like to improve but don’t sit down to calculate what it’s going to take in order to achieve it,” said Howard, who offered some simple solutions to executing practical goals in the new year:
2 Key Principles to Consider Before Setting New Year’s Resolutions
Like an architect, someone must consider their lives as a whole, not just one aspect of change they would like to make while ignoring the rest. Before setting ambitions in motion, consider what you want and what it would actually take to achieve it.
- Price– Examine how your goals will influence you emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually and lastly socially. Consider if you are willing to potentially impede any of these things and if your life change is worth it. “If people don’t sit down and calculate the cost that each resolution is going to have, they’re going to start pulling from other resources within their life, and won’t have enough at the end,” Howard said. For instance, consider how much money, time, and energy will be sacrificed to acquire the goal.
- Worth- “After making sure all aspects of your life will be in harmony you decide whether meeting the goal is worth it,” Howard said.
Now comes the real work of following through on your new year’s resolutions.
3 Ways to Stay Faithful To Life Changes
According to Howard, there are important concepts to adopt in order to overcome the adversities of making life changes. He’s coined them as the “The Three P’s” of successful goal implementation.
Presentation– Presentation is the way we present ourselves to the world or represent ourselves in general. For example, a serious mechanic always makes sure his car is maintained and clean. Or an administrator dresses professionally to work every day. People have to ask themselves how they would like the world to perceive their seriousness, but more importantly, making sure they take themselves seriously, as well.
Part of presentation would include “positive peer pressure.”
“When I wanted to quit cursing, I presented myself to people as someone who did not curse — which is ultimately also presenting it to myself and that I’m serious about it,” Howard said.
Another aspect of presentation is “symbolism.” An example of a symbol for wanting to change your diet is using golden silverware in your house. It says to your brain that your diet is “regal.” “Symbolism helps you to repeat things like a mantra and take what you’re doing seriously,” Howard said.
Personal Power– How we carry out our plan shows the quality of the opportunity we would like to have. Portraying confidence in settings that will help us meet our goal produces seriousness. It’s another way to say “believing in ourselves.” For instance, having a goal of landing a supervisor position means taking your presentation seriously, pursuing the goal faithfully, but also knowing that it can absolutely be accomplished.
Philosophy– “A philosophy is the unique approach to how we go about our business which influences our behavior,” Howard said. Our philosophy balances our exclusive system of values. Developing personal philosophy statements helps us to keep our priorities in order. These are all based on personal truths that add value to our lives and can guide us when caught between choosing how to spend our time, money, and talents.
Some more common statements are “family first,” or when working out saying, “no pain, no gain.” These statements motivate us and impact choices we make. For example a father has a personal goal of becoming a bodybuilder, but doing so may disrupt how much time he spends with his children. If this man had a philosophy of “family first,” becoming a bodybuilder would curb his priorities. Having philosophies like this steers people to make hard choices and organize goals in ways that promote harmony.
So despite the need for a little willpower and motivation to start a positive life change, the key to success lies in strategic planning and focus. With patience, confidence, and seriousness, you will accomplish your new year’s resolutions and celebrate in 2020!