As the holiday season ends, we find ourselves looking onto the New Year and making promises to be better, to achieve new goals and to get rid of old habits. The sad truth however is that as the days of the new year start rolling by, we tend to minimize, put off or even forget our resolutions altogether. For most of us the New Year resolutions never come true. But is it really impossible to make sure you stick to them? We say no – all it takes is a little effort and determination on your side.
The main problem we encounter when trying to fulfill our goals is the lack of understanding of our own capabilities. When these resolutions are made, we often forget to think about how it will be us that will have to make them come true and instead we just envision the best possible version of ourselves for the following year. To make sure this imagination is dosed with some reality, there are three little tips you can follow.
- Keep it short
The first thing to do is to cross some items out of your initial list. Take a look at what you have written down and prioritize it based on what is the most important to you – make sure your backlog is set up right. It is up to you to decide whether to shorten the list by crossing out the resolutions that fall on the bottom or to keep them and focus on the top ones first. In any case, this will give you a good idea of where to start and where to put your focus in 2016.
- Measure it
To ensure that you are making progress and achieving the goals you set out for, make sure to set them up in a way that is easy to track. If your goals are vague, they will be hard to track and there will be no gratification of marking them done at some point over the year. If you still want to have large goals, make sure to split them into small clear achievable sections. That way you can follow your progress and be sure when you have achieved what you set out for.
To make sure you do not forget your plans, it is best to have them written down. Whether it is in your private notebook or on you work task board, this will help you remember what you have planned and how best to achieve it. As the year goes on, you will get new information and get distracted, but your goals will stay where you have put them and will keep you in the right lane.
It is easy to get off track with your New Year resolutions, but if you decide to treat them more like an Agile project and less like a letter to Santa, you might just be able to achieve them all. When the going gets though, remember it is always darkest before the light, or before 2017 hits.
Happy New Year!