Naturally we make resolutions because we want change, we can see the possibilities of a different way of working, acting or being.
But my big message on making resolutions that you can keep is summed up in my adaptation of the sixth century Chinese General Sun Tzu’s famous quote: “Know your enemy because he is yourself.”
What do I mean by this? I believe the biggest inhibitor to change is our own subconscious which acts to protect us by keeping things the same, stopping us making what our ‘conscious’ mind knows is necessary.
So if we’re going to make lasting change in our life or business we need, like a military leader, to plan a strategy to outflank our enemy, rather than marching blindly straight into possible defeat.
For example a useful resolution might be to ‘spend more time developing my staff/myself’. To improve the probability of success we need to be quite strategic. The plan must counteract the likelihood of the subconscious putting legitimate and logical obstacles in our way.
For example, like having too much business to write, the unplanned crisis, not enough time, etc.
Here are some pointers on ways to plan around our natural inertia:
• Put time in the diary now – whenever it’s needed for the task in hand even if it means for the year ahead, resist swapping for short-term priorities
• Go public with your plans- share your goal for change by making yourself accountable to others, the more the better
• Celebrate your little wins – pat yourself on the back for every little ‘victory’ you have on your journey
• Regularly visualise the new world, post-change (yes daydreaming can be a good thing) – share that vision with all those involved in making the change
If you believe in what you want, and follow these steps you’ll be better placed for that ‘prosperous’ as well as ‘happy’ New Year.