It’s a feeling we all know well this time year: The holidays come to an end; we’re a few pounds heavier due to an excess of good food; and we wake up to a new calendar on the wall saying “January 1.”
That empty page freaks us out. So, we quickly take stock of the past year and decide what things we’d most like to change — which usually involves some combination of saving more money, losing weight and finding more passion in our jobs. These are all good resolutions, of course; but January 1 is not the time to be making them. Here are the four biggest reasons why:
ONE: Getting back into the swing of things after the holidays can take time. Realizing that sometimes you need to slow down to go fast is the real key to setting smart resolutions. Taking the time to ease yourself back into the business and waiting to set goals until you are fully focused again will allow you to set better, more effective goals. If waiting a month to set your resolution means you’re more likely to actually stick to it, that’s a worthwhile trade-off.
TWO: Taking time to do your pre-work and give serious thought to your goals will lead to better success in the long run. Identify what will motivate you, what needs to be in place and figure out how you’ll achieve your resolution before you commit to it.
THREE: Just because we have a new calendar doesn’t mean we need to tie that to our goal-setting. Ask yourself what the right time for your business planning is. It might be in the summer if you’re on a fiscal calendar or in the fall of the previous year before holiday craziness and year-end deadlines hit. Whatever time you choose, allow time for pre-work and reflecting first.
FOUR: Incremental change — the small things that add up to big results — is what creates real, lasting change. It can be easy to get distracted by ideas of big sweeping change, but in reality, those lofty resolutions rarely last and often lose steam after just a couple of weeks. Instead, choose to focus on a few small, specific resolutions that will make a big impact when they’re followed consistently over time. Create smaller resolutions that will lead to big results.
Remember, the right time to set your resolution is the time that you’ll be able to stick to it.
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