How to Accomplish a Resolution

March 21, 2017By Behind the Shelf Blog, Resolutions

by Julie Bonnell, vice president, operations, for our Resolutions blog series

So, the holidays are a memory. Those resolutions you set for yourself, whether personal or professional, are staring you in the face. You shout back, “I’ve been busy!!”

And that’s exactly what you need to look at: time.  Give yourself permission to carve out some time to make that resolution more than a good intention. Come on, you know how to do that – make a plan. You’ve done it many times before. Break it into small chunks. Determine how make a planyou will measure success.  Give yourself the gift of recognizing progress along the way – not just when you get to the end game. Writing it down will help you solidify what your vision is. Sharing it with someone else will give you accountability.

One more thing that I want to share with you is something I have found to be a critical step – if you are trying to change a behavior, understand that to try to “stop” doing something is really hard. A technique I use is to instead determine what I will “start” doing. To “stop” just creates a vacuum. To “start” doing something is to take positive action. It helps you to make a lifestyle change, training yourself to a new set of behaviors.

Here are a couple of quick examples:

Personal Goal: I want to lose 10lbs.
Positive Action: Instead of deciding to “stop” eating too much, I am going to start using a scale and logging my calories for the day.

Professional Goal: I want to be more organized.
Positive Action: Instead of deciding to “stop” procrastinating on filing my expense reports, I am going to start a morning ritual to pull all my receipts out of my wallet and enter them into the expense report forms before I finish my first cup of coffee.

The “starts” are measurable and achievable. I can encourage myself to meet these smaller goals. Once I have a scale and log calories, I can decide how many food choices to change and what the impact is. Once I set up my receipts with my coffee, I can see how much time it takes and determine whether this has reduced my month-end stress. Being able to see results puts you in control to meet your goals, and who doesn’t want that?