Reject the Notion of New Year's Resolution

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Now that people have stopped hounding you about setting your New Year's resolutions comes the even more annoying phase when they start harassing you for having already having broken them.

My solution?  Don't set New Year's resolutions in the first place.

Resolutions are almost always about something you're going to quit, break, or suspend.  Who needs all that negativity?  Instead set a theme for the year.  Just a positive, three-to-five word call-to-action that succinctly sums up one thing you really want to accomplish this year.  So here's my theme for 2014...

Form habits that work.

That's it.  Pretty straightforward, right?  To drill down a bit, what I mean is that rather than coming up with lofty objectives or unreachable goals, I am simply going to look at what has worked for me in the past and apply that -- with a tad more discipline -- to the future, specifically 2014.  Here's what I'm thinking:

  • Work.  Once you've established some success in your profession (even if you're a youngster), take a look at the habits that got you there.  There's usually some systematic process behind your success, even if you've never thought of yourself as a methodical person.  For me, it's an adherence to my go-to process of Clarify, Simplify & Execute.  That is, clarify the vision; simplify the path; and execute the plan.  (Read You Unstuck if you want the full details.)  This year, I plan to habitually refine all my work systems so that they are functional, simple, and repeatable.  That includes everything from my website to my email marketing program to having an editorial calendar so I'm not constantly reinventing the wheel.  The result?  Better strategy, service, and content for you!
  • Fitness.  I've worked out with a weight trainer for the past six years and it's become a weekly habit (I also do cardio and yoga).  What's great is that I don't miss workouts; I push myself harder than I would on my own; and I have ongoing access to fitness and nutrition experts.  So this year -- and for the foreseeable future -- I'm sticking with Mark and Monica Nelson.
  • Money.  Socking savings away is a habit that helps me sleep at night, so I have a system set up by my financial advisors to make sure I'm regularly putting money into a retirement account.  Like the old saying, "Pay yourself first," this is a habit you can take to the bank.

If you want help forming habits that work, join me for a free, open forum Q&A call on February 26th.  Sign up here to hold your place and please invite your friends.  By registering, you'll be giving me permission to add you to my mailing list.  You can opt out at any time, but here's hoping it becomes a habit you'll want to keep!