By Linda DeLuca, Executive Coach – Twenty-five percent of people abandon their New Year’s resolutions within the first week. Sixty percent within the first six months. Others have given up on setting resolutions, after failing to be successful with the same resolution 10 times. But you’re a Fearless Leader, which means you have the courage to do personally hard things . . . uncomfortable things, to learn and grow. Here’s how Fearless Leaders keep New Year’s resolutions.
The New Year’s resolution has history in many cultures and usually involves resolving to change an undesired trait or behavior, or to accomplish a personal goal. In short, to focus on self-improvement annually.
Fearless Leaders Keep New Year’s Resolutions.
A resolution is an intention, a desire to improve. Alone, it’s not likely to stand up against resistance to change and you risk being one of the 25 or 60 percent who abandon their good intentions. Though making your resolution a SMART goal does increase your likelihood of success, there is another secret.
Fearless Leaders take resolutions and goals to the next level by using an annual theme. Beyond goals, your desire to improve through resolutions is an annual guidepost that unifies your goals. Your annual theme is a common focus to help guide your thoughts, actions, and decisions — every day.
Here’s how to find yours:
1. Identify the current year’s theme
Review your current year’s accomplishments, decisions, or anything that was fulfilling or impactful during the year. These help identify your values, strengths, wants, and needs.
As you review the past year, inevitably you’ll recall things that didn’t go well. Capture these to help identify what you may want to do differently next year.
Caution: this exercise can be challenging, but as a Fearless Leader you’re ready to do what is uncomfortable — especially if it leads to growth.
Scan the elements you’ve captured from the past year and look for trends, common threads, or a theme. Often you see a trend representing a mindset or behavior such as ‘action’ or ‘connection’ or you may realize (in hindsight) something less fearless like ‘scarcity’ or ‘judgement.’ This was your (unintentional) theme for the current year.
2. The Fearless Leader Chooses a Resolution Wisely
If you choose a theme to guide your actions throughout the year, it will help you achieve not only your SMART goals, but also your resolution (aspiration). Take what you have learned from the review of last years’ activities and make a fearless request of yourself for the coming year. What is the one thing that will guide your actions, decisions, and thoughts throughout 2018?
Remember, this is not a SMART goal. Your goals will support this theme, but this is the overarching focus for the year. Your theme is the driving force of every single choice, action, and thought. This is bigger than a goal – this is your way of being in the world and it serves as fuel to help keep New Year’s resolutions.
3. New Year’s Resolution Daily Practice
Consider your theme for 2018 as a daily practice. You are not expected to be 100% perfect on January 1st, nor every single day in the year. Each day, use your theme to set your focus first thing each morning and as the focus for self reflection at day’s end.
Engaging a coach can provide you with focused attention, guidance, and new perspective. Coaching also provides a framework for accountability. Whether you go it alone or with a coach, making the bold commitment for the new year is the first step you should take to be fearless. . . and to keep New Year’s resolutions!