At the beginning of every year, we make tons of resolutions. Lots of them simply don’t go anywhere. Some people even stop making resolutions because they are tired of failing and not getting them accomplished. Do you feel you are already in that ‘dark’ place? Do you feel you are already back to your routine and old habit of chronic procrastination or you just don’t know where to start? You know what to do (or what NOT to do) and you know the benefits it would have on your life – but do you feel stuck or overwhelmed?
I have been where you are. For years, I had thought a simple “to do” list would be enough to set me up for the whole year – I was so wrong. Then, I discovered a new approach to resolution setting that literally changed my Life and Business! Trust me; it’s not too late to revisit your resolutions or goals for the New Year. But before you do so, here are 5 key questions to ask yourself that will help you move more decisively toward your goals and resolutions:
WHAT ARE THE ACCOMPLISHEMENTS I AM REALLY PROUD OF?
“The only time you should ever look back is to see how far you’ve come.”
It’s so easy to get caught up in “doing” stuff all the time. At a certain point, you feel trapped like a mouse on a never ending treadmill… STOP! Put it all on pause for a minute and take the time to appreciate your progress or accomplishments. Take a look back at last year – what are those things that you have been able to make progress on that you are so proud of (personally, professionally, and socially)? Go to a quiet place for 30 minutes or more (ideally 1 or 2 hours) with a piece of paper, a tablet or anything you can draft notes on, and just sit back and relax. It’s your time with yourself and for yourself. I usually go to quiet coffee shops or my dining room (especially when there is nobody home) to think and write about my progress from the previous year or month. It doesn’t have to be completed accomplishments. It can also be things I initiated and that will continue on this year (but so proud I started them at last). This exercise might seem boring at first, but it’s so essential. It will give you a sense of accomplishment and pride, and unveil the winner in you – motivating you to go further.
WHAT MISTAKE DID I MAKE THAT TAUGHT ME SOMETHING?
“It’s not a mistake to make a mistake, but it’s a mistake to repeat the same mistake.”
Take the time to outline the mistakes you made and mostly the lessons you can leverage from them. Where did I go wrong? How and why did that happen? Those questions will be key to your future success. Be honest with yourself and don’t simply blame all your mistakes on your loved ones, colleagues or boss. What is your responsibility in all this? How can you make it better? This question will help you avoid doing the same mistakes over and over. And as you surely know, you simply cannot keep doing the same mistakes and somehow expecting a different result. Remember, “Mistakes are just proof that you are trying.” Acknowledge them, take responsibility, learn from them, and outline how you will do better next time.
WHAT ARE THE TOP 3 THINGS I DID NOT ACCOMPLISH THE PREVIOUS YEAR AND WHY?
Oprah said “Every new year is another chance for us to get it right.”
Identify the top three things you would have loved to have accomplished last year but did not. If those three things are still relevant in your life or business today, bring them back to the list. But before doing that, take the time to understand why you have not been able to get them done. It’s the only way you can make corrections and enhance your chances to make them come to life this time. Was it because you did not have time? If so, how are you going to create more time? Lack of resources? Then, who can you bring on board for extra help? This year might be your chance to get them right – go for it! But, nothing will happen if you simply add them to the “to do” list alone. You need a plan to make sure you hit them this time.
WHAT CAN I LET GO OF?
Everyone has a “to do” list (great!). Well, you also need to create a “stop doing” list!
This is the only way to let go of the crap that holds you back (it works for me, my clients and students every time). Maybe you have goals or projects that are no longer aligned with who you are today – erase them! Things happen in our life that can influence our trajectory, goals and resolutions. It may be a habit that is destroying your life or pushing away your loved ones – time to quit! In some cases, you may consider asking your friends and family for support to help you overcome a bad habit – but it is your responsibility to clean up your own mess. Perhaps you are constantly making excuses – stop that! Don Wilder said “Excuses are nails used to make a house of failure”. Remember, nobody has made their way to the top by making excuses. The sad truth is: “Excuses will always be there for you, opportunity won’t.” Or it may be a person that is not a very good influence on you, your business or your dreams – divorce them! Those people that are dragging you down don’t deserve your love, attention, time or money. Surround yourself with people that really want the best for you and that will support you. In a nutshell, you need to make some sacrifices in order to find more time, energy and resources to embrace new opportunities and focus on what really matters to you. Identify all you can let go of and cut them out!
WHERE SHOULD I FOCUS?
“Energy flows where attention goes!”
“What you focus on expands!”
Those are among my two favorite quotes on focus. Your spouse is complaining more and more about you not being home long enough… and you took the resolution to spend more time at home from now on. Well, it may not be a good idea to accept every friend’s invitation to go out shopping or watch football games every week-end. My father was the first to teach me – at a very young age – the danger of having “contradictory goals” and the importance of focus. If your biggest dream is to rapidly become a stay-at-home mom, then pursuing a full-time career as a flight attendant may not be aligned with your current family dreams. If you want to drastically reduce your debts, then borrowing more money for an expensive vacation this summer might not be the coolest idea after all. Same thing if you’re looking for new clients, you may want to favor networking events over dancing night outs. And if you happen to be overweight, I would strongly recommend that you avoid buffets the most you possibly can. Make sure each breath you take, each step you make is aligned with moving you closer toward your key resolutions or goals, whether in your personal, professional, or social life.
MY ULTIMATE SECRET:
Resolutions or Goals alone simply won’t work. Decisions do! Take action today! And each time, ask yourself if this action is getting you closer or further to your goals or resolutions.
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Hope you found this article useful. Let me know what you’re struggling with when it comes to launching your own business, product or service and please share if you have other useful tips for new entrepreneurs.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Award-winning actress, filmmaker, speaker and business owner, Fabienne Colas is the ‘Queen of Festivals’ and founder of a successful entertainment & media empire – which includes 7 successful festivals in Canada, the USA and Haiti; a production company and several other ventures. CEO/Founder of Zaza Production, Fabienne helps people unlock their greatness, launch their products and services, reposition their brand and bring their business to the next level.