As 2010 approaches we revive our national pastime of identifying our New Year’s resolutions. Some forge ahead and succeed in making their resolutions a reality. Others find themselves in February or March with their resolutions set aside and forgotten. In my past life, before dirt, I was a planner for nonprofit organizations. I loved putting plans together for my employer as well as personal action plans that grew out of my annual resolutions. On a professional level, I was generally successful (a good thing, since my performance warranted a continuation of my salary). On a personal level, however, I was far less successful. It was very discouraging.
I think I now have a much clearer idea of why I abandoned my earlier resolutions. Looking back, it seems there were a number of reasons. Too often, I indulged myself in wishful thinking. I lacked a strong vision based on a thorough understanding of my strengths, limitations, what was in my control and what was not. Too often I was too ambitious, perhaps even grandiose. In other words my resolutions were not realistic.
Too often my plans reflected my impatience for success. I was determined to leap over large buildings in a single bound instead of identifying and then executing the small steps which, when completed, would slowly build a foundation for long term success. I was obsessed with goals rather than the process of attaining those goals. My impatience undermined my resolutions.
I was too fixated on perfect execution. A wise mentor of mine once told me, “Set stretch goals, but be satisfied with attaining 80 percent of them.” The best baseball players seldom hit more than 33 percent of the balls thrown to them. Striving for perfection destroys our self-confidence and is corrosive to our self-esteem.
So if you want to create positive change in your life during 2010, consider these simple suggestions:
- Create an exciting yet realistic vision of your resolution. Visualize the end result and its benefits.
- Focus on process; identify and complete the small, attainable steps that lead to long term success.
- Cultivate patience.
- Let go of perfectionism; take satisfaction in realizing 80 percent of your objectivves.
Contact me and let me know how you’re doing! I welcome my relationships with each of you.