Maryann Murphy,  - Helping You and Your Team Get More Done!
Resolutions that Work!

The success of most New Year's Resolutions relies on organization and effective time management. For example, how do you organize your home to make it easier to exercise and make better food choices?  How do you schedule your time to be able to fit in more reading or staying in touch with friends?

Just making a resolution isn't enough for most of us. Creating a specific plan is key to lasting success that makes a real difference, so take some extra time today to look at your New Year's list, and add more detail to your plans:

Ask yourself the following questions:
WHY do you want to improve in this area?  This is important!  Sometimes we make resolutions to please someone else or because we think we should.  If you're not really committed to a goal, you're not likely to keep with it for the time it takes to change, so write down why you want it. What, specifically, will be better about your life if you reach this goal?  Is this the best way to reach that goal?  Keeping your "why's" clear can help a lot with motivation when you need it. And try to keep the focus positive ("I will do this, rather than I will stop doing that").
WHAT will you do differently (specifically, what behavior will you change)?  Will you get rid of things you don't use anymore? Will you build storage systems to keep what you have better organized?  Will you start a filing system for paper, and use it?
WHEN will you do it?  Scheduling your new exercise program, filing program, or de-cluttering schedule, is critical to success.  Will you de-clutter your closet once/month?  What day of the week? What time of day?  Planning this out and putting it on your calendar makes it more likely to happen. 
HOW will you keep motivated through the inevitable challenges and setbacks? Setting mini-goals, benchmarks and reinforcers along the way can help.  Before and after photos or graphics of any kind can be very motivating.  Think about what has worked for you in the past, and plan to include those kinds of support in your plan. 
WHO will help you?  Pick a partner or multiple helpers to keep you accountable, give you support, give you instruction when needed, etc.  The most successful behavior changers get help. Give yourself the best chance for success by finding people to go through these changes with you.  Sharing your resolutions with others publicly also provides another strong incentive to keep at them.

I’d love to help you reach your goals and stick to your resolutions, so give me a call at 508 292-6706 to schedule a coaching session.  

Happy New Year, and all my best wishes for a very successful 2014!

Additional Tips
Start with one change at a time.  Because New Year’s is such a great time to make resolutions, we tend to cram all our wishes and plans for change into this one time of year, and then we’re exhausted by the third week in January.  Try spreading your resolutions out over the year so that you can focus on one area at a time. 
Don’t forget – you still have to go to work, take care of your family, and do all the other things you’ve been so busy with this past year.  Adding 5 more NEW things all at once makes for quite a challenge.  Pick your biggest priority to work on for the month of January, and then add in your second goal in February.  It will keep you from feeling overwhelmed and giving up too early.
Make your goals realistic.  If you want to double your income this year, you may have to give up some free time, deal with some discomfort (changing jobs, increasing your fees, asking for a raise), and work a lot harder.  Maybe you won’t have to do those things if you have a fabulous plan (please tell me what it is so I can get in on it too), but think about what you are willing to give in order to reach the goals you have identified.
Keep your goals in front of you as much as possible.  Use photos as inspiration or make your screensaver an inspirational message that scrolls across your screen throughout the day.  A focus on the positive will make it easier to do whatever work is involved.
Make it FUN!  Resolutions don’t have to bedifficultIf exercise is your goal, reach it by dancing or playing your favorite sport.  Make a game of clearing up the clutter – first one to get rid of 20 things gets to pick the movie tonight.  Add music to make any task easier to do.  The more you want to do it, the more likely you will do it.

Plan now for a Re-Evaluation day a month from now.  Life is likely to get in the way of your plans, and it can be discouraging to realize that you’ve slipped from your plans.  Build a day of re-evaluation into your schedule to celebrate any success you’ve had, and get you back on track, if needed.  Don’t let setbacks stop you.  Take stock of what worked and what didn’t, and make any adjustments needed to keep moving toward your goals. 

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