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As the New Year approaches, we have the opportunity to both reflect and renew resolutions. We all know that resolutions often fade away before the end of January, but when we take time to create positive accountability, we can enact strategies to help us finally reach our goals.
Beginning this process before the holidays allows time for meaningful reflection and sincere consideration for how we would like to step into 2013.
Below are six strategies for creating positive accountability. Add your strategies for positive support below and let’s step into 2013 together!
1. Be specific in your vision.
One of the biggest mistakes we make in setting goals is lacking specificity. As you reflect on 2012 and prepare for 2013, be specific with what you'd like to achieve and how you will achieve it. Set parameters thoughtfully and give yourself time to create a plan.
Use December wisely and don’t be afraid to take your time. Resist the urge to rush the process, and trust that taking this time will garner you intuitive guidance. Your specific plan should include markers of achievement and milestones by which your progress can be evaluated objectively rather than emotionally.
Remember: the more specific, the better!
2. Enroll friends and family by openly sharing your goals.
This helps us establish our first level of accountability because once we declare it, we are more accountable to it. However, this also helps us create an open conversation through which the people who know us best might be able to help deepen the plan, increase specificty, and refine the overall goals of the journey. Welcome their input but remember, this is your journey.
3. Enlist the help of a mentor.
Enlisting the guidance of an outside resource can provide helpful perspective that is less emotional than those who are closest to us (although you’ll need that input, too!).
Find a mentor who embodies many of the qualities you're hoping to welcome into your life in 2013 and bravely ask for their support. Remember, boldness has magic, and your ability to courageously prepare for your upcoming year by enlisting positive support will further encourage your achievement of your goals.
Hopefully this mentor can be a sounding board for questions, frustrations, and celebrating exciting milestones throughout your adventure!
Journals can be an important resource when undertaking a new life course. Journals provide the opportunity to let down our walls, express emotions that might otherwise go unexpressed, and help us gain hindsight as our goals progress. Journals allow us the opportunity to reflect and see how far we’ve come while also facilitating private conversations that help us go deeper into our true selves.
5. Establish a weekly check-in meeting with a friend, family member, or your mentor.
This conversation should reflect on your progress and should help you evaluate and improve upon your goals, approach, and overall attitude. Depending on the length of your resolution, you could speak with a different person from your community of support each week.
For example, Week 1 speak with a friend, Week 2 a family member, Week 3 your significant other or another close confidant, and Week 4 with your mentor, allowing time and space for each conversation to resonate. This also ensures that your support system doesn’t get burned-out and it keeps you accountable to your goals on a weekly basis within a wider community.
6. Accept responsibility.
Don’t be afraid to fail and don’t be afraid to admit your mistakes. Taking on a new life course, whether it be a diet, a workout routine, or preparation to step into a new career, you are boldly taking risks and difficulties are bound to arise. Challenges often represent opportunities so address them openly and proudly. When we create a plan, life usually has a way of changing course so embrace the difficulties as invitations to reflect, re-evaluate, and explore.
Share your insights, New Year’s resolutions, and additional strategies for positive support below and let’s create a community of uplifting, inspiring guidance as we head into 2013 together!