Developing Momentum and Accountability for Resolutions

Jan 1, 2013 | Accelerated Learning, Business, Cognitive Patterns, High Performance, Personal Change, Therapy/Coaching, Training Insights | 0 comments

How can we develop Momentum and Accountability for Resolutions?

Goodbye 2012, and hello 2013!   Quick, I need to set some “New Year’s Resolutions!”  And, I need some Accountability for Resolutions, too… otherwise I might just slack off after a week or two!

When January comes around again to ritually cap a year gone by… it’s time to take smart actions.  Perhaps its time to more intentionally, choose how we want our next year to go.

Towards that end, I’d like to share with you a way that you can establish patterns in a new direction that will help you to stay on track towards those New Year’s Resolutions.

A 5-Step Process for Turning Resolutions Into Successfully Achieved Outcomes.

Step 1: Milestones

Once you decide what you want to achieve, whether it’s reducing smoking, or getting fitter by dropping excess weight, or boosting your closing ratio, earning more money, etc… begin by figuring out realistic milestones.  Determine partial goals on the way to larger goals.  Decide what level of results you’d like to achieve, by what dates, and at what rates.  These are your resolutions.  And now you need accountability for resolutions.

Step 2: Progress Measurement

Develop a way of measuring and tracking that progress, daily, that ensures you continually remind yourself how much and how far you’re progressing.

Here’s an example of what has worked well, for me!  I wanted to set up a spreadsheet that somehow tracked everything I wanted to know.  I wanted to be able to see how quickly (or not) I was making progress from a starting point, to an end-goal.  Also, I wanted to view, every day, how many days left I had, until specific known upcoming events came along.  So I created something like the following.

Date Day Days til Event #1 Days til Event #2 Days til Event #3 Current Weight Goal Progress (Weight dropped) Activity/ Exercise
January 1 1 59 120 365 0 30 min. elliptical
January 2 2 58 119 364 45 min. walk, lifting chest/tris
January 3 3 57 118 363 30 min. elliptical, 30 min. stretch
January 4 4 56 117 362
January 5 5 55 116 361
March 1 56 0 61 306
May 1 120 / 0 245

 

And, it worked!  I used that to track progress during my Juice Fast in 2012.  Helped me to drop 70 pounds.

What makes the above work?  Not surprisingly, it’s a form of self accountability for resolutions.  And, it’s a daily reminder of where we are in our overall plan.

Flexible Options…

Every piece of literature you can find on goal setting & achieving suggests you need to know where you’re currently at.  You also need to know where you want to get to, and have some way of measuring your progress.  Impressively, the above chart is one way of providing you all that information, in a daily snapshot!  And, it reminds you “here’s exactly how long you have, from this day, until when you want that result to be achieved.”  Each day that comes along, you’ll have reminders like…

  • It’s 35 days until that family reunion.
  • It’s 72 days until that trip to the Bahamas.
  • It’s 112 days until the date of that half-marathon I want to run.

You could even add/change columns showing how many pounds you still had to lose to get to each dated milestone.  Or, how few cigarettes you wanted to use on that day (if you were stopping smoking slowly).  You might want to see how many inches you still wanted to remove from your waist.  Or how many more dollars closer to your sales goals you want to reach.  It could even be how many new subscribers you want to add to your lists.  Or how many more books you’d like to sell.  Or how many new friends you want to make to expand your network (whether business or personal).

You get to choose how to set your spreadsheet up!  What are you waiting for?

Step 3: Spreadsheet Setup

If you know (MS) Excel, or (Apple) Numbers, or (LibreOffice) Calc, It should take you less than an hour to set up a spreadsheet like the above, and customize it to your specific needs.  If you know these programs well, it should take you 5-10 minutes to set up such a spreadsheet, because formula short-cuts can speed up your data crunching.

Step 4: Visibility for your Accountability for Resolutions

Print out your tracking progress spreadsheet, and put it somewhere you’re going to see it every day.  Allow no excuses here.  Put it on the wall by your scale.  Put it on your refrigerator, or your kitchen cabinet.  Tape it to the side of your monitor, or under your keyboard (sticking out to the side).  Post it next to your vision board (if you have one) at home or in the office.  Have a pen right by it, that stays there.  Keeping a high frequency of visibility is part of what keeps you accountable.  By the way, don’t do this as an “app” or a smartphone or tablet document.  Then it would be too easy to close or put away out of view.  Do this “old school.”  Paper & pen.  Seen multiple times a day.

Step 5: Sustainability/Maintenance

Every day, review where you’re at, measure your progress, and write in the relevant new details for the current day.  You’ll find that before ONE week is out — if you do this religiously for 1 week, you find yourself starting to look forward to this little ritual!  Eventually, it’ll become a habit with very little additional motivation!

I hope you get immense value from the suggestion above.  Let me know how this works for you, and/or how I can support you through a more prosperout 2013!

This came from solving a client’s challenge, and setting up accountability for his resolutions!

I’ve had many coaching clients that kept putting their goals off.  Two in particular that were always 6 months away from achieving their goal.  One of these had a goal of finishing a book.  He was always six months away from finishing his book (which meant, he was always 10 pages into his book, never getting any further).  I designed the above system for him.  And it worked!  Unfortunately, I can’t quote the author’s name, because — feel free to enjoy the irony at my expense — he’s in the self-improvement industry.  How does someone who’s supposed to be an expert at creating change admit he couldn’t get his book started for 5 years?  But I’m glad we helped him create accountability for resolutions, and he did get his book published!

And then, after working with him, I did what in NLP we consider pretty important:  We “apply to self.”  And 70 lbs down, I can personally attest that the above simple method worked a charm.

Could I be the right Coach for you?

If you think you might need help with achieving specific challenges, did you know that I have coaching clients that regularly call me for brief targeted coaching?  When they’re stuck thinking through a challenging problem, I help them get unstuck in minutes, moving forward again, with an extremely useful and new solution.  I help distill the most relevant and important criteria for making decisions, and can rapidly and effectively identify what’s distracting you unnecessarily and why.  Then the right decisions usually become obvious.

Perhaps you’ve avoided coaching because you don’t want to get locked into a larger expensive package of coaching service.   Providing help as needed without requiring commitments is one of the ways I build strong loyalty from coaching clients.

I’m curious;  In what ways are you not moving forward, that’s costing you (or could cost you)?  If you’re stuck, and don’t care, then coaching is an expense, not an investment.

By contrast, if you’re stuck… and getting unstuck would prevent losses or other costs, then coaching is an investment, not a cost.  Do some wise cost-benefit explorations here.  You’ll thank yourself!

Author: Jonathan Altfeld