A Simple System For Keeping New Year’s Resolutions

How to Keep New Year’s Resolutions

DSC_7902Okay, 2008 is in the books and 2009 is here in all its glory. A new year means new resolutions and goals. It also means breaking your resolutions and falling back on old, bad habits. But, Lance is here to tell you it doesn't have to be like that and you can implement a simple, effective system for keeping your resolutions and achieving those goals. Sounds great, right?

Here are a couple of example goals I've made in the past:

  • Eat less junk food, cook more, eat healthier.
  • Work out 5-6 days per week for the entire year
  • Read 1-2 books per month.
  • Get better in the bedroom.

Pretty simple, pretty common goals (except for maybe the last one), but still tough to achieve. Each of these is like a little project, so I'm going to think of it in terms of projects management.

Here's my system:

  1. Write down the goal/project.
  2. Define it in more detail, including what's needed and a schedule.
  3. Find a partner or team member to do the goal with. <– SUPER IMPORTANT
  4. Embark on the project.

That's it! I told you it was simple. Let's unpack it a bit. I'll use one of m projects as an example:

Step 1: My project was to work out 5-6 days per week for the entire year. Going to the gym and working out is one of the most common resolutions out there and I achieved it, for the most part, in 2008. In fact, I've achieved it every year for almost the last decade.

Step 2: I defined the details. I wanted to lift weights, put on about 5 lbs of muscle, and also get back into my sport (rowing) and compete in the second half of the year. What was needed was a gym membership, a rowing club with equipment where I could do my sport, and time. I made the time by blocking off 1 hour per week day in the mornings, and 2-3 hours on Saturday and Sunday. I usually took Monday off if I needed a rest day.

Step 3: Finding a partner (or a team of partners) is the key to the whole deal. I found a workout partner to go to the gym with. He was only able to commit to lifting with me for 1 day per week, but that 1 day spurred me to go to the gym 1-2 more days per week because I didn'?t want to get behind. Pretty soon, I formed a habit of going to the gym 2-3 times per week, with or without my partner. In fact, we only worked out together regularly for maybe two months, but after that time I had the habit fully ingrained.

For the sport, I joined my local rowing club, got onto a team (we call them crews), and committed to practicing with them 3 days per week for 6 months. Doing these practices was easy because I had several other dudes relying on me to show up. Plus, we trash talked each other over email and that further inspired me to go to the boathouse.

Having a partner makes you accountable for your actions and partners also inspire you to follow through and do your best. My best advice: Do go it alone!

Step 4: Set a date and embark on the project! I usually start on January 1, but January 10 is fine too, as longHappy New Year as you actually get the thing going. I waited until mid-summer to join the rowing club because logistically there was no way to do it earlier. Don't be afraid to schedule those projects in the future.

One of my other goals from above, to get better in the bedroom, was a smaller scale project, and all it required was me reading 3 books and experimenting in the bedroom (note, this also overlaps with my goal of reading more books). Obviously, I had a built-in partner because it was the person I was banging. Schwing! Mission accomplished!

So there you go, 4 steps to keep those resolutions. Treat each of them like a personal project, identify what you need, find someone you can do it with, and you're golden. Good luck in 2009!

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About Lance Lance is a tech geek by day, social artist and fitness enthusiast by night. He specializes in relationships in real life situations, such as workplace and in business, and his goal is to create high value social circles filled with opportunity. For more on his dating and relationship perspective, check out his blog honeyandlance.com

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