As you look back on 2014, do you feel satisfied with your results or do you stare at a familiar unorganized disarray path of unfulfilled dreams?Ten years ago you didn’t expect to be where you are today. You ventured off course, and you’re telling yourself that this year will be different than the year before. You put pen to paper and list out your goals for 2015, tape it to the bathroom mirror and continue your positive self-talk until March rolls around.
In March, something happens to the majority of us who make New Year’s resolutions and it probably happens to you too. You reduce your gym visits from five days a week to one, your green juice breakfast turns into coffee and a Pop Tart and you get stuck in a never ending round about that leads to nowhere.
Tara Parker-Pope wrote in her New York Times column that a third are ditched by the end of January. Four out of five people simply give their resolutions up. You lose sight of your vision and you start to feel hopeless, but this year is different. The University of Scranton Journal of Clinical Psychology states, “People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.” This year you’ll create a vision path that leads to celebration rather than disappointment.
Creating a Vision Path
Creating a vision path takes New Year’s resolutions to the next level of action and achievement. It’s a visual representation of your path with clear actions, milestones and celebrations that take your dreams off of the paper and breathes life into them.
Creating a vision path is easy and inexpensive. Start by designating a space in your home or office that you visit daily. Then find some sticky notes and a pen and get started with these simple steps:
- Begin with the end in mind. Start by listing what you want to celebrate at the end of the year. These are the goals you typically write down as your New Year’s resolutions. The difference is that instead of writing them on a single piece of paper, you’ll write them on sticky notes on the far right of your designated space.
- Determine monthly and quarterly milestones. Working backwards from your goals, write down 12 major milestones that you expect to accomplish throughout the year. Start with December and end with January. The sticky note for January should be on the left side of your designated space.
- List tactical actions for each milestone. List the actions that you need to take to complete each milestone on sticky notes. Then place the actions to the left of each milestone.
After you’ve completed this activity, you should have what looks like a strip of sticky notes in a line across your designated space. As you complete each action, pull that sticky note down and celebrate it. No, I mean, REALLY, celebrate it, do the happy dance, enjoy a glass of wine with someone special and share your success. Do something that cements in the feeling of a great accomplishment, because you just surpassed most of your peers, who quit before all the sticky notes were even written.
When I led my team at Expo Chemical Co, Inc., I encouraged the sales team by creating a board of gold stars to recognize achievements. The gold stars were an inexpensive way to have fun and reward success. My sales team members would stop me in the hall and tell me that their names would be on the wall next month. Over the next few weeks, I saw each of them work hard to receive that recognition.
Celebrating accomplishments doesn’t have to be expensive, but they should be visual. The visual element of celebration provides encouragement to yourself and others to focus on future goals and confidence that they will be achieved.
Don’t let 2015 be a year of disappointment and disarray. Invest a few hours in yourself to set up your vision path and a few minutes each day working toward your goals. Do one thing today to get you closer to where you want to be in 2015 and if you need someone to encourage you along the way, consider joining my Change Your Business Life coaching program. This program is solely focused on creating success for your and your business in 2015. I am anxiously waiting to celebrate your successes with you!