I kind of love this time of year. That hang time between Christmas and New Years where all the hope and dreams for 2013 have a chance to bubble up. Even for those who are back at work, this is always that time where so many people are taking off work that really not a lot gets done OR you have the quiet office to actually get A LOT of work done. I really love making new year’s resolutions. But to be honest very few of my resolutions in the past have every really panned out. And those that did were not driven by the fact that they were resolutions, but by a sheer need for change.

For me 2012 has been all about learning to be smarter with my business. And to be honest I am still absorbing and pulling together everything I learned (It was a lot. Like drinking from a fire hose a lot.) In my new business network there are a lot of life and business coaches. This time of year they have been offering lots of advice and tips for planning a successful 2013. Over the last couple of weeks I have been settling into that planning phase with all my new knowledge. Let me just say I can now see why my resolutions were rarely successful. It is really just sheer logic. So for today’s Friday 5 I am going to give you my top tips for this years resolutions.

1. Take inventory of all your successes and failures in 2012. Lovingly say good bye and thank you.
Why had I never really done this? I have no idea, but it totally makes sense. In order to look forward it is a really good idea to get a clear look at where you are, what worked and what did not. When I did this a couple of weeks ago, I really had no idea that I had actually doubles my mailing list. This is huge. But not having the numbers in front of me, I had no idea. I also had a much more pessimistic idea of where my gross income was. Instead of facts, I was actually pulling from my emotions about my business. Get the facts. It makes a huge difference.

2. Make resolutions based on your dreams not your guilt trips. I do not know how many times I have put “go to the gym” on my resolutions. It is really hard to get behind something so lack luster and chore like. But if it my dream to have more energy and to be able to fit back into my favorite dress, then It may be that I can frame that regime in a better light. So “go to gym” becomes “find 3 healthy recipes a month that I love” or “spend time walking with Susan once a week”.

3. Break your resolutions into steps and PUT IT IN YOUR SCHEDULE. If you want to know how to complete your resolutions, you need to know the steps to get there. And if you want to complete your resolutions, you need to make time to do the steps. These are your dreams, so they should be a priority. Make time for them. I mean like an appointment with yourself for your dream. Make it a part of you week. Make it as real as any other obligation.

4. Celebrate your accomplishing each step. I am bad to not do this. But when I do it gives me drive to do the next step. It can be anything. The luxury of a guilt free nap. A small token, like a special coffee beverage or bigger like a pair of shoes or a massage. An afternoon with a friend. You are one step closer to one of you dreams, THAT is definitely worth celebrating.

5. Take stock of your progress throughout the year. Truth be told, most years, I could not tell you what my resolutions were by mid year. Or my focus may have changed within 3 months and my resolutions would not be worth pursuing. It does not matter how often you take stock– monthly, quarterly, mid year. But it is good to do in case those resolutions need tweaking.

 

 

I highly recommend Leonie Dawson’s awesome new 2013 Incredible Business Workbook and 2013 Incredible Life Workbook (awesome resource, click here to check it out). It will step you through some wonderful introspective questions and help you map out your dreams for next year.