Madeleine Homan Blanchard is on holiday break this week and will return with new questions from readers beginning on January 7th. While on break—and as we move into the new year, Madeleine suggested this advice she offered a reader looking for some help succeeding with New Year’s resolutions. Use this link to see the original question and Madeleine’s complete response.
Join Madeleine next week for a new year of advice for well-intentioned managers!
- Pick one big thing. Probably the main reason people don’t achieve their goals—other than lack of deep personal commitment—is that they have set too many. So your angst that you may be loading up on goals is probably spot on. As you swing back to normal after a big holiday season, you are already behind, so you must manage your own expectations. Choose one big thing and let the rest go.
- Get Support. Lots of it. Change is hard, no matter what it is—and if you’re trying to break an addiction like nicotine or sugar, it is doubly hard. The brain craves anything that causes a predictable release of dopamine, so you’ll need more support than you think you do. Tapering off can help, as can support groups, a buddy, keeping a journal, daily acknowledgment, or asking for help from your guardian angel or whatever you know to be your higher power.
- Break it Down. You have one big goal. Break it down into small sub-goals or daily commitments. Ask yourself: What can I do, every day, to keep myself on track? Make a chart and check off something every day. (I’m sure there’s an app for this, but I’m committed to reducing my screen time, so I go with paper.)
- Make it Compelling: Now let’s loop back to my first point, which is that you really have to care about doing the work to achieve your goal. You can’t do it for your spouse, your kids, your dad, or anyone else, no matter how much you care about them. So, choose something you really, really want. It doesn’t matter if it isn’t a big deal to anyone else, or if it isn’t going to make you a better person. If you really care, there is a chance you will succeed.
Madeleine Homan Blanchard is a master certified coach, author, speaker, and cofounder of Blanchard Coaching Services. Madeleine’s Advice for the Well Intentioned Manager is a regular Saturday feature for a very select group: well intentioned managers. Leadership is hard—and the more you care, the harder it gets. Join us here each week for insight, resources, and conversation.