Is it just me or have you noticed there is some serious enthusiasm about the New Year going on out there? I don’t know if I just didn’t notice last year and people have always been this excited or if there really is a heightened welcoming of 2012.
On one hand, it is infectious and pretty magical and on the other hand it’s also pretty telling---perhaps people really did have a sucky 2011 to the point they were ready to leave it behind.
In any event, here we are almost a month in so no turning back now.
Now I don’t know what you’re intentions are for the outcome of 2012, but if I may offer one piece of advice, do yourself the favor and claim this year as the year of taking ACTION. If you want to get past what has ever held you back to get to wherever you are trying to go, then you have to take action.
Intentions of “I am planning on doing" or “I will try to” just don’t cut it. Just do it.
If this is the year you will run a marathon, start with enrolling in a 5k in the spring. My closest girlfriends did this last year to forward them in their goal of doing a triathlon and they ended up doing more than one and becoming avid cyclists! Not only did they achieve their goal, but also they have since excelled in their fitness overall. (My she-roes!)
If this is the year that you are going to do more public speaking, join Toastmasters or invite friends over to your house to run a home workshop. If this is the year you want to grow your business, put a networking event on your calendar.
If this is the year to improve your relationship with a loved one, plan a dinner date or make a phone call.
See where I’m going with this? It's the little steps that count.
So in order to make this the year you accomplish big things, let me share my 5 Step Formula for knocking 2012 (and the rest of the years) out of the park:
Step #1: Set a goal---a big fat juicy one. Just make sure it is achievable and realistic. Set yourself up for success.
Step #2: Determine what the very first thing you need to do to achieve the goal. For instance, if it is to run a 5K, do you need sneakers? Do you need to go the gym tomorrow?
Step #3: Think of what the step is before the first step. Trust me, there is always a step before the first step. If you said, get sneakers, do you know what sneakers to buy? The real first step is finding the type of sneakers you want.
Step #4: Do the first step --- make it a stretch to get some skin in the game. Buy the $150 pair of sneakers because you will not like having a $150 reminder of what you are not doing if you don't take action.
Step #5: Repeat Steps 2 - 4.
That's it. It really is that simple. Think small, incremental, achievable steps to your end goal and then act on them. They should be easy enough to do and not as painful as you may think.
You can move mountains this way.
One caveat: Resist the urge to overhaul your entire life. Think of all the areas that need changing and pick the one area that will make the most impact. If you focus on accomplishing shifts in that one area, you will notice that welcomed changes take place in all areas. You just need to change behavior on a very minor scale to see dramatic results.
Because in the end, it’s nice to have plans, but until you take a first step in the direction you want to go, plans remain plans.