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New Year's Resolutions - Developing A Plan To Achieve A Goal

   By: Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, PhD

Each year people make New Year's resolutions as a declaration of commitment to themselves to make changes in their lives. Have you wondered how effective resolutions are? Do you achieve your New Year's resolutions? If you achieve your New Year's resolutions you are in the minority. Surveys suggest that less than one percent of New Year's resolutions are achieved. It is merely a ritual people have followed for decades. The question is, “Do you want to make changes in your life?” Making a resolution to accomplish something without a plan to achieve it is like putting gasoline into a car that doesn't have an engine.

Developing a Plan to Achieve a Goal is surprisingly simple. There are many plans one can use to achieve a goal. The easiest goal-setting plan I use is four steps. See, Think, Plan, Act.

Step I: See: See the situation/issue/habit/behavior as it currently is—Describe it, Define it, Analyze it.

Step II: Think: Think about what you want instead of the current situation or how you want to change an issue/habit/behavior. What would the new situation/issue/habit/behavior look like? Who is involved in the situation/issue/habit/behavior? Who needs to be involved to create the change? Who will benefit from the change? How will I convince those involved to go along with the change?

Step III. Plan. What steps do I need to take to achieve the change? Research the various aspects of your plan. Check for feasibility, viability and possibility. Set a ‘by when' date. ‘By when' will I act on my plan?

Step IV: Act. Implement the first step of your plan. When you have acted on the first step of your plan, you have now arrived at Step I again.

Step I: See: What is the current situation/issue/habit/behavior after taking the first step? Has the action I took in Step VI created the change I wanted? Am I happy with the result? If the answer is ‘Yes,' continue to follow the plan created in Step VI one step at a time. If the answer is No, proceed to Step II.

Step II: Think: What didn't work? What do I need to change to get the result I want? Who do I need to talk with to help me? Continue to analyze the current situation/issuehabit/behavior until you have thoroughly analyzed the outcome of your initial action. Proceed to Step III—

Step III: Plan: What changes are required? Who needs to be involved? When all aspects have been analyzed, Proceed to Step IV again.

Step IV: Act: Once you have carried out one aspect of your plan you are back to Step I.

Goal achievement is that simple. When people do not reach their goals it is not because the goal was a ‘bad' goal it is because people do not have an effective Plan to achieve the goal or they fail to act on their plan and/or analyze each aspect of the plan as the plan unfolds to determine if the plan is achieving what they intended to achieve. ###

THOUGHTS TO PONDER : When you know that what you're doing is right, nothing will be able to stop you. When you are absolutely convinced of the true value of your efforts, you'll have the courage and the persistence to see them through. To believe in what you're doing is not just important. It is everything.

Anything less cannot possibly succeed. For any accomplishments you reach while living a lie will ultimately be of no value.

It is not always easy to live true to your highest values, true to your authentic self, true to what you know is right. Yet it is always your best choice.

When you deny what you know is right in order to follow the expediency of the moment, the benefits you gain are trivial and fleeting. Choose instead to live each moment true to the highest values you know.

Then, who you become will be the fulfillment of who you truly are. Why would you ever want to be anything less?

--Ralph Marston

Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, PhD, Life Coach has 25 years experience in Personal and Professional issue. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and Psychology, a Masters Degree in Clinical Social Work and a Doctorate in Philosophy. She has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, professionals and entrepreneurs.

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