Matthew Ferrara, Philosopher
 

Three Ways Resolutions Can Reach for the Stars

A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one Year and out the other. Here are three ways to keep them around all year long.

The trouble with most New Year’s resolutions is that they rarely go beyond the wishful-thinking stage. It wasn’t enough for President Kennedy to simply resolve to go to the moon. There was a whole lot of work to be done before we could get there.

What does it take, then, to turn resolutions into realities?

First, the best resolutions build upon our existing strengths. They might involve trying something new or pushing our limits, but they must build upon a solid foundation. Think about something you know how to do, enjoy doing, then decide to turn up the volume. Do more of it. Do it better, or faster, or more consistently. If you can send a rocket around the world, aiming it for another planet isn’t that much harder. Set yourself up for success by leveraging your existing knowledge, skills and motivations.

Second, set a course and get a crew. Going to the moon required a lot of planning. It also required a lot of support personnel, scientists and crew. Thinking about how to get there, what it would be there, and who to go on the journey. The same is true for personal goals. Think about what it will take to liftoff, break free of gravity and head for your goals. You’ll need a big boost to get started – perhaps from a manager or colleague. You’ll reach orbit in stages – using training and support from your company. Then you’ll need to navigate to the right spot – something your customers can surely help you target.

Finally, take the first, giant step. And then another, and another! Getting to the moon was only part of the challenge; it still required leaving the lunar lander and stepping on the surface of a strange new world. Achieving your goals is not much different. It’s easy to purchase some new technology, take a class, build a web page. It’s another thing to put one foot in front of the other, every day, all year long. Integrating your goals into your day-to-day routine is the best way to make them real. Take that technology to every appointment, meeting, class, and make it part of the norm. Find ways to integrate your resolution into day-to-day conversations, marketing language and customer experiences. No matter how much you imagine going to the moon, the reality doesn’t hit home until you’ve set your foot on the ground.

If you’ve given up on New Year’s resolutions in the past, try these three steps for turning them into reality this year. If you’re going to wish upon a star, you owe it to yourself to take the steps to reach them, too!