Ahh the new year.  So much hope and ambition bursts forth as the prior year falls to the wayside.  Many feel the need to make empty resolutions to improve parts of their life: “Get back to the gym, Spend Less money, Eat Healthier, Stop Drinking…” whatever your vice, we’ve all concocted a statement to help us kick-start yet another new beginning.  This is the one time of the year that the little angel on our shoulder gets to do all of the talking while the devil sleeps off his holiday party hangover.

The goal might come in the form of a casual comment made during a New Year’s Eve party or at a family gathering but most of us have no intention (or more importantly a plan) to make the resolutions stick.  If you have every been a member at a gym for an extended period of time, you dread going in January and February.  Why?  Not because you don’t want to work off the extra holiday pounds, it’s because the resolution makers are there during those initial months and it’s packed!  Yes, they will be gone come March but man, it’s not fun waiting for them to go.

So how many resolutions did you make:  Five?  Ten?  Did each facet of your life get covered such as: Personal, Career or Health?  Once you start adding them all up you will either be overwhelmed or more likely, guilty that you have such a big list!  The initial hurdle isn’t in your big list.  It’s a great idea to have such a wide selection to take stock of your life.  The problem lies in trying to focus on so many all at once.  You will never fully attain your goals when none of them has your full attention.  The best bet is to narrow your selection to only THREE and then keep the rest in a safe place for future reference. Trust me you’ll  need them later on because you WILL attain your first three goals.  Making any more than three important goals is useless and high level, successful people don’t bother to do it…  so cut yourself some slack and focus your list!

Once you have your three critical goals for the new year, having a plan is the only way to guarantee that you will obtain them.  We all set mini goals or have life goals but how many of those did you write down?  If you didn’t write any down last year, how many of them got fulfilled?  Writing down your ambitions might seem weird if you haven’t tried it before.  “I know them, why write them down?”  Because you need to look at them daily in order to keep them at the top of your mind.  Writing anything down – even if it is simple, brings it to life.  Try it!

Lastly you also need to check in on a regular basis to monitor your progress.  Daily is best but no matter the frequency, make it a habit.  Think of it as a cashier cashing out at the end of their day.  Be honest with yourself and acknowledge your progress.  You don’t deserve to NOT achieve your goal so don’t lie to yourself – not even a little.  It is critical that you take stock of whether you are above or below the next step on the path to your goal.

Are you ready to get focused?  Think about where you want to be come 2016 and start working on your plan!