Tips For Writing New Years Resolutions

Re-post of the VenueQuest newsletter 1/2/2013 – I predict this could be the most un-read newsletter I will send this year.  The timing stinks because many of you are off this week. And, what is more predictable or cliche on January 2 than a newsletter about New Years Resolutions, ugh!

But I am writing it anyway, because for the topic of New Years Resolutions, the timing is fantastic.  I used to set the same goals every year…get in shape, make more money, blah blah blah.  Until I realized how quickly those broad resolutions could be forgotten because I had no follow through.  In 2008, I set some strict guidelines to get very serious about my New Years Resolutions and I have built on it each year since then.  The first year with specific goals did not go even close to what I had envisioned though.

I was carrying some credit card debt from a recent interstate move, and I had been suffering on and off from a variety of annoying health symptoms including itchy legs, coughing, fatigue, etc.  My personal resolutions going into 2009 were to eliminate my credit card debt, and find a small practice doctor who could work with me to solve all my “little” health problems.  By January 9, I had found the single practice doctor, and after a series of scans and tests, he told me I had Stage 3 Hodgkins Lymphoma and I would be going into chemotherapy right away.  I did not get out of debt that year!

Fast forward, I am healthy again, and I still write down my resolutions.  I used to type them up in big bold fonts and print a copy which would be taped to the wall next to my desk so that I could cross them off as I completed goals.  I love checking something off a list.  Since discovering Evernote, I have replaced my taped up list with an Evernote “note.”  If you are not familiar with Evernote, Google it.  I have yet to meet any users who can say they would be better off without it.

So, without further delay, these are my suggestions and tips for writing New Years Resolutions:
1. Write them down…someplace permanent…that you will see on a regular basis.  Writing them is not enough.   I turn to my computer, type them up in Word with big bold fonts and then print it out.  Next I tape that sheet right next to my desk.

2. Be specific.  There is a little room for ambiguity, but avoid “Get in shape.”  Instead, try “Plan 20 minutes of exercise three times per week (or whatever is realistic for you).  One of my goals for 2012 was to send 10 email newsletters…For anyone counting, yes, this is #9.

3.  Make time to review your list periodically.   Schedule a meeting on your calendar in three months, and give yourself a review.  It will be interesting for you to discover what remains important and what you feel less strongly about.  If you really want to get serious about this, invite another participant to your meeting who can hold you accountable to your goals.

4.  It’s never to late to make a commitment.  If you formalize your list of resolutions, then it becomes a living thing and it can grow.  As the motivation and circumstances strike, you can add to the list.  Setting goals is not just for January 1.

Here are some of my other resolutions for 2013:

1. Grow the VenueQuest Facebook page by 200 new Likes.  Currently at 63, so I need to be at 263 by next December.  Anyone care to help me get started with this one???
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2. Hire a new employee.  VenueQuest is growing and we need help.  I am hoping to find the right person for the job in the first quarter of 2013.

I will schedule my review meeting for March 20 and I will let you know how I am doing with this list.  Happy New Year.