Most people, most years. have given up on their resolutions by about mid-January. In order to give you a better chance, I’m offering the following techniques below in worksheet format.

These techniques will help with any goal — from losing weight to pursuing a promotion to starting your own business. By having a worksheet like this to reference throughout the year, you’re going to have a better shot to stay on track and make your mark in the year that has just arrived.

Now, remember: this is a worksheet and not an article (per se). So you have to…you know…do the work.

Your New Year’s Resolution Worksheet

  1. First, write out your resolution here. Make it as specific as you can (i.e., “lose ten pounds by May 31″ instead of “get in shape this year”). Just writing your goal down makes it more likely you will achieve it. Congratulations!
  2. Write down the payoff for achieving this that appeals to your values and emotions. For example, if you want to quit smoking, your compelling reason might be “I want to be healthy enough to dance with my 9 year old daughter when she gets married in about 20 years.”
  3. How will you remind yourself of this reason? (Perhaps a picture of your daughter, or a woman in a wedding dress, in your office.)
  4. Let’s anticipate trouble and head it off. What is the “payoff” from not changing? For example, smokers get a certain number of social breaks with their smoking buddies everyday. Or perhaps you put off a project that feels “difficult” or “overwhelming.”
  5. How can you get that payoff another way? Maybe you take a walk with a friend, or get a coffee, instead of having a smoke.
  6. What are the actions you need to take to realize your goal? Attach deadlines if appropriate. (Did you just freak out? If so, look back to question #2 for moral support!)
  7. What is the next step you can take towards your goal? When will you have this completed by? (Did you freak out again? Look back to question #2 for moral support as often as you need.)
  8. Who do you have to be to make this goal? What kind of person?
  9. How will you create accountability for realizing your goal? (Check all that apply.)
  • I will check in with a friend (please note who and how often).
  • I will create a chart / schedule (please note where & how often you will use it).
  • I will create a reminder on my calendar / PDA / computer.
  • I will tell lots of friends and acquaintances (Who or how many? By when?).

My hope is that you use these techniques to create a rewarding career and personal life this year. Please feel free to pass along to friends or colleagues who may benefit from them. Good luck on your 2012 new year’s resolutions and goals!

(Photo credit: Businessman Checking on Checklist Boxes via Shutterstock)

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