Friday, January 2, 2009

Radical Resolutions!

Happy New Year, everyone!

Hooray! 2008 is in the rear view mirror. It is time to look forward to the great things ahead in 2009. Are you ready?

If you are like many of us, you have made a list of resolutions for the new year. If so, congratulations! You are 10 times more likely to achieve those goals than those who did not begin the year with resolutions. You are on your way. But, if you are like most of us, you did the same thing last year -- likely with mixed results. This year, let's resolve to make our resolutions meaningful. Let's make them radical.

For those who actually make resolutions, one researcher gives us some indication of how successful we are in meeting these goals over time:

-- past the first week: 75%
-- past 2 weeks: 71%
-- after one month: 64%
-- after 6 months: 46%

That's not bad. If we take the first step and make resolutions, half of us will still be meeting them after six months. What can we do to help ensure that our resolutions are lasting and that we can have some promise of success? How can we make them "radical?"

-- Begin with the end in mind. Start with the statement, "On 31 December 2009, I will...." Have a vision for your end state, then build your specific plan. See yourself on the objective -- New Year's Eve, 2009. What will be different? Be bold. Go for something life-changing, something world-changing, something radical!
-- Write down your goals and resolutions. Then take the bold step of sharing them with someone else. This radical step forces accountability and makes us even more likely to achieve them. Post them in a place where you can be regularly reminded of them (for better or for worse!). Be even more radical -- position your list where others can see it as well!
-- Make goals specific: how much? By when? If your vision is to run a marathon, how much do you need to run each day/week? How much do you need to save each month and what will it take to do so?
-- Review progress regularly (depending on what your goals are, reviews daily, weekly, quarterly, etc. will help keep you on track). Sit down with your accountability partner (see "Get some help" below) and discuss your accomplishments.
-- Get some help. Want to lose weight? Get a fitness coach. Want to be a better leader? Get a leadership coach. Want to save money? Get a financial coach. Resolve first to bring in the experts.
-- Make radical resolutions that reflect a balanced life: personal, professional, spiritual, physical, financial. Resolve to improve in all areas of your life.
-- Be positive and have some conviction! Don't say, "I will try to quit smoking!" Say, "I will quit smoking!" Do it. Get some help. Be positive. Believe!

Finally, as I wrote a few days ago (Just Say Yes!), I hope that you will resolve this year to say "YES!" Say yes to serving, to leading, to making a difference in your life and the lives of others! That alone can make our goals possible. That statement, by itself, has the possibility of making the rest of our resolutions...truly radical.

I hope that your 2009 is a great one. As for me...I radically resolve to make it great! That's Leader Business!

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