It's a new year — a great time to focus on what you want and go after it. But please don't do so by making a typical New Year's resolution. Surprised? One study shows that 92 percent of all New Year's resolutions fail, and if your self-esteem is fragile, continually failing might just kill it. Making a New Year's resolution is like betting in Vegas where the odds of winning are 8 percent, but you convince yourself you'll win every time. It's probably just not going to happen.
Instead of making a resolution, consider using the approach that extremely successful women and men use. For 27 years, I've coached individuals to excel, so I have a lot of experience with what does and doesn't work with my clients. So what works? The power of intention plus committed action yields amazing results. If you want stronger self-esteem and greater success in attaining your goals, use a thoughtful personal planning process that combines the power of intention with committed action. This combination gives you your best chance to create incredible results.
Take Angela, for example, who used this approach. She wanted to be a great mother and a loving wife and a successful realtor. (Notice that Angela didn't think in either/or terms; she said, "How can I be successful at all three?") Angela created a vision of what she wanted and an extremely detailed plan for how to accomplish each goal.
During 2012 (I don't have complete information on 2013 yet), Angela was home for dinner and focused on her family almost every night, which is almost unheard of for an extremely successful residential realtor. And, according to her husband, she's a great wife... plus, she was the #4 realtor in metro Denver for the number of houses she helped her clients buy or sell. Angela plans and uses her time better than anyone I know.
Your personal success plan. Everyone who engages in my high-performance coaching starts by developing a personal and professional success plan. Here are the nine critical factors:
- Start with a dream. Dream about what you want. This can include anything: a kind of relationship, the fitness and health of your body and mind, a job or business, how much money you make, etc. Write your dream, and then define what you can realistically accomplish in one year to bring your dream closer to reality.
- Use SMART goals. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. They help set you up for success.
- Build your plan on your strengths and passions. Let's say part of your dream is to enter a new, healthy relationship. If you're an extrovert, being with people is likely your strength, so you may want to make specific commitments to get out where you can meet new people, with the intention of attracting a healthy person. Each week or month, commit to a specific number of times you'll get out with intention. If you're shy, Internet dating may be a better strategy. Commit to the weekly actions necessary to attract the right kind of person through a dating site. An example would be to wink (for women) or send an email (for men) to your top three choices of people you'd like to contact.
- Chunk it. Group your large goals into smaller, more readily doable milestones. Employ timelines and set defined and realistic, yet challenging, completion dates.
- Resolve why you haven't succeeded previously. If you've experienced setbacks or frustrations in accomplishing your dream, define what you'll do to minimize the fears destructive beliefs and ineffective actions that prevent your success. Angela did this through individual coaching; the Blast Through Fear CD or download will also greatly benefit you.
- Accept setbacks. Setbacks are part of your success. You may think you found a great, healthy relationship but later realize that the partner you thought was the human equivalent of Dom Perignon champagne turned out to be bitter grape juice.
- Make it fun and exciting. Make the process of achieving your goals and dream positive enjoyable experience. That way, when you have the inevitable setback, it's easier to stay motivated and keep advancing toward your what you want.
- Use positive accountability. If you can find one, have an accountability partner to celebrate your daily or weekly successes with. When asked why she engaged in my individual and then group coaching for more than three years, Angela said, "I love having accountability!" High performers love supportive, positive accountability.
- Own it! Owning it requires you to take 100 percent responsibility for your actions and results. When I've coached folks who are among the best in the world at what they do, they always own it. They don't play the victim by blaming, complaining or making excuses.
Everyone's busy, but are you busy doing the things that most help you achieve your dreams? Not everyone attains their dreams, but you can. If you want success, you need to be laser-focused on the right thoughts, emotions and activities. Your dream can be your reality. Why not get off to a great start? Developing a personal success plan provides a positively focused beginning for a great year. Start strong and stay strong, with clear intentions and committed actions to make your dream a reality!
More life coach advice on YourTango:
- Tap Into Success, Confidence & More With A Life Coach
- Why Do I Need A Life Coach?
- What Do Women Want?