Why your resolutions are short lived, and a template to help you see it through.

Team Hoyt always finishing their races
Team Hoyt: Always finishing their races

How many times have you set resolutions for yourself only to break those later?

You start off enthusiastic and ready to take on the world and 1 to 3 months down the line; you ignore your diet program, you put off learning French, you train less, you end up having more than three mugs of beer and the list goes on.

Trust me, I know. It sucks! You feel defeated and think “What the heck! I’ll just jump off this cliff anyway.” I mean, why not? There’s always next year, right?

Unfortunately, come the New Year; you don’t bother with setting resolutions at all, or you go through the same cycle all over again.

Rollover this to see if you recognize the cycle

Well, have I got some good news for you. Let’s not wait till next year to repeat this ritual we go through every year. Let’s get it right this year and see our resolutions through till year end.

Why are your resolutions short lived to begin with?

I believe it’s simply the lack of commitment on your part to follow through with it. Not because you can’t, but because you don’t [or didn’t] know how to keep track of them…

Until now!

What’s the resolution solution?

I’ve come up with a template to help you write, keep track and enjoy your resolutions or goal setting.

‘The Resolution Template’ has been designed to capture seven points.

What are the seven points? The seven points are:

  1. Resolutions or goals
  2. Benefits for you
  3. Benefits for others
  4. Keys
  5. Milestones
  6. Testimonials
  7. Progress

Click on the link below to download The Resolution Template to fill in as we go.

Download The Resolution Template

Feel free to print copies and give them out to your family, friends, colleagues, president and the neighbors cat [if it’s Garfield].

OK, let me further explain the seven points above.

1. Resolution or goal
This is where your resolution or goals for the year goes. Limit the number of goals. The more resolutions or goals you have; the harder the task of keeping track of them all. Keep it reasonable and measurable.

Only write down what you seriously want [or need] to work on. For The Resolution Template I have limited it to 5 goals.

My first resolution for this year is to be as fit as an 18 year old.

On to the next point to capture –

2. Benefits for you
How will your resolution(s) or goal(s) benefit you?
List every possible benefit that your resolution or goal will have in your life. This will answer the “What’s in it for me?” question we all love to ask.

Here is an example of the list of benefits for my first resolution, ‘To be fit as an 18 year old’:

  • Able to work longer and get more done.
  • Healthy body, healthy mind.
  • Higher stamina.
  • Less risk of Non Communicable Diseases.
  • Longer life expectancy.
  • Mentally alert.

3. Benefits for others.
How will your resolution(s) or goal(s) benefit others?
You’ve already written what’s in it for you. Here you write down what’s in it for others.

This point is meant to inspire and encourage you to keep going.

Whether it’s your family, friends, colleagues, boss or your pet gorilla?
Capture it!

This is how my first goal of keeping fit will benefit others:

  • Be more patient with others, especially my wife and kids.
  • Carry my toddlers more when they want.
  • Encourage and inspire my colleagues, family and friends to keep fit as well.
  • Help my colleagues out more at work because I will be able to get more done.
  • I will be able to help out more at home.

My greatest motivations for keeping fit are my children. Four of them are still at the “Daddy carry me” stage and my 5 year old son Ethan, still needs quite a bit of help bathing and changing. He is quite heavy and this is easier to handle if I am in shape.

I’ve shared this with you so you can see the inspiration and motivation behind my first resolution.

For without inspiration, motivation and encouragement, our dreams, visions and aspirations will cease.

You can be as specific and write as many benefits for others as you want.

4. Keys
Here is where you list ‘How to achieve your goal[s]?’ That is, what you need to do to get to where you want to go. It doesn’t have to be a clear road-map. Start with an outline then refine it later and drill down to what works for you.

As an example for my first goal; I play squash with some of my colleagues on Wednesdays and Fridays [whenever the courts are free anyway]. I absolutely love the game and because of that I try not to miss a session. I’m doing something I love to do and in the process I am getting fitter. Every game I find myself running more, building stamina and agility, sweating like a horse and feeling great about it.

Here are the keys for my first resolution:

  • Cut down on meat and sweet snacks.
  • Eat healthy especially more fruits and vegetables.
  • Exercise daily. Skip rope, play squash, touch, and paddling to name a few.

If getting in shape is one of your goals for this year and you love to dance then take up dancing lessons. Learn how to Tango, do the Salsa or Zumba [I know I want to]. If it’s difficult going at it alone, then find a partner with the same goal so you can encourage each other along.

If you need a partner to work with then write that down as a key also.

5. Milestones
Milestones are the little checkpoints to encourage you along the way. Note them down as you go along, however small they may be. For instance, when you lose five kilos or you jump from doing 3 pushups to 5 pushups, then this is where you record your feat.

6. Testimonials
Your testimonial works hand in hand with your milestones. Take note of whenever anyone makes a positive comment about you – specifically something that ties in with your resolution or goal. The remark, time and date in which it was given will all have to be written down under this section.

Remember to only record the positive, throw the negative out the window and press on.

“Your pot belly is getting leaner [music to my ears] ” was an accolade my brother-in-law made that complemented my first goal.

7. Progress
You need to track your progress. Whatever works for you, be it weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. Create the habit of going over what you have already written even if you have nothing to record. 5-10 minutes every week should suffice. This will help you stay focused.

In Closing
Dates to the last three sections are also vital. When you fill in your milestones, testimonials and progress; the dates pose as a great track system and further acts as a source of motivation to finish what you’ve started.

I welcome you to join me in putting this template to the test this year.

Here is the link to The Resolution Template again to help you get started.

Download The Resolution Template

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or ideas on how to improve on this template.

If you are part of the minority that sees your resolutions through till year end; then please share your secrets with the rest of us in the comments below.

Lastly, please share this with the world by liking and twitting this post. I believe there are others out there who would benefit from this template.

Do keep in touch as I would like to know how you’re progressing.

What are some other tips or ideas do you have on goal setting?

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