By Anjula Razdan, Experience Life
Need help bringing your resolutions to life? Here are a few suggestions for drafting an action plan. Write down your responses, then reflect on them whenever you need additional motivation or direction.
1. List one to three key goals or resolutions. For each, says Thomas Crum, an Aikido master, speaker, author and consultant, consider what will bring you true happiness and fulfillment. “Resolutions shouldn’t be about a sense of burden, about one more thing on your already-full checklist of things to do,” Crum says. “Choose goals that will bring you real joy in your life.”
2. What skills or knowledge might you need to develop in order to accomplish these resolutions? Key to taking stock of your deficiencies is celebrating those skills and competencies you already have, says life coach and author Cheryl Richardson. “Make a list of the skills that you feel really proud of or have developed over the past year,” Richardson says. “That way, you’re in a more positive frame of mind when it comes to acknowledging what you have to work on.”
3. What character traits or capacities might you need to develop to achieve? Think: How would I describe the kind of person who could do this easily? It’s important to separate the skills you might need from the qualities of character, says Richardson. “A skill could actually be a practical skill that might help you achieve your resolution, like learning to cook or taking a communications class to learn to speak more effectively,” she says. “Qualities of character are related more to who you are, perhaps the ability to say ‘no,’ for example. Identify someone in your life who possesses the qualities of character you seek and begin to model what he or she does.”
4. What areas of challenge are you likely to encounter? You are almost certain to experience obstacles in tackling your resolutions list, says life coach Lori Radun, so why not be prepared? “Do some thinking about the types of obstacles you’re likely to encounter – and about how you’ll handle them when they come up,” she advises.
5. What personal values can you draw upon to evoke and develop these qualities in yourself? It’s important to realize that you have a lot to offer, says Radun, and overcoming self-limiting beliefs is a must. “We need to stop negative self-talk by calming that little gremlin inside of us that tells us we are not worthy or that we can’t achieve our goals.”