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Making New Year’s resolutions is a fine thing. Keeping them is another matter. Do you have goals for 2019, and do you have a plan to achieve those goals?
“New Year’s resolutions need to be realistic and you need to be committed,” says Lark Doley, Toastmasters’ 2018-19 International President. I caught up with Doley, a full-time trainer with a government contractor in Texas, by telephone to get her take on resolutions.
“Whether the goal is to get healthier, become a better person, or something a little more outside the box, this is the time of year when many of us scramble to come up with New Year’s resolutions that we’re likely to forget about in a few weeks,” says Doley.
Is one of your resolutions to be a better speaker? If you want to be a better speaker, I recommend joining Toastmasters (www.toastmasters.org). Since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped people from diverse backgrounds become more confident speakers, communicators and leaders. The organization’s membership exceeds 357,000 in more than 16,600 clubs in 143 countries. While I have never been a member, I have met some people who have grown tremendously thanks to the organization.
Another fine organization for speakers is the National Speakers Association. To get more input, I tracked down Patricia Fripp, a presentation coach extraordinaire from San Francisco. She is a past president, and the first female president, of the over 3,500-member National Speakers Association.
To help make 2019 the year that your goals are met, I am sharing tips from Doley, Fripp and me on how to accomplish your resolutions for the new year.
- Make a list and check it twice for realism. “Writing your goals down makes them tangible and sharing your goals with others makes you accountable,” says Doley. “Checking back on your resolutions and goals often will help keep you on track to meet them.”
- Start small. “By starting small you are being realistic and honest with yourself,” says Doley. “Start with a goal that is easy to achieve in a short time to gain a sense of accomplishment. Make the resolutions specific and time-bound.”
- Set manageable goals. “Keep your list of goals manageable and celebrate goal achievement,” says Doley. “Although you might have several goals, refrain from creating a list that is too daunting or difficult to achieve.”
- Think what perfect would look like. “Ask yourself, ‘If the world were perfect, what would my year look like?’” says Fripp. “We so often settle for compromise of compromise. Start from what is perfect.”
- Slow down to speed up. “Make a habit of being more thoughtful before taking action,” says Fripp. “Your choices will be better.”
- Clean out the closets of your life. “We can all relate to cleaning out the garage, closet or desk,” says Fripp. “In your personal time are there people, habits or thoughts that are holding you back?”
- You are the boss of you. These last two tips are from me. What does not get measured does not get managed. Keep track of your benchmarks and hold yourself accountable.
- Celebrate the wins. As you have wins, make a note of it. Treat yourself to something nice. I once decided to reward myself with a model train set and a Honus Wagner vintage baseball card if I hit my goals. Those little reward celebrations helped me achieve some big resolutions.
Bonus tip: Perhaps the best tip of all comes from author Mark LeBlanc, another past president of the National Speakers Association (and a writing collaborator), who says scrap the idea of New Year’s resolutions. “Instead, determine what your monthly targets are in all areas of your life, career and health. Focus on the actions and activities you have control over. Reset your counters to zero every 30 days, just like you do once a year on January 1.”
December 19, 2018 at 01:57PM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs