Sunday, January 3, 2010

Cassandra Lee on Your Successful New Year's Resolutions

The Difference Is In Your Follow Up.......    Accomplishing Your New Year's Resolutions

It is our tradition to make resolutions at the start of the new year.
When the count down ends and January 1st begins, we start proclaiming
 the things we will do in the new year that will make us better, wealthier,
 stronger, healthier, smarter, kinder, and wise.

We tell ourselves such resolutions as, "This year, I will lose weight."
"I will find a new job this year." "It is my goal to go back to school this year."
"My New Year's resolution is to stop smoking."
"20__ is the year I will save $300 a month."

Our resolutions - which are personal to us - run the gamut of wants and desires from saving money,  to losing weight, to changing careers, and even to finding love.

The interesting thing about resolutions is that once we make them, most of us don't keep them.
 Studies have shown that less than 20% of people polled in resolution studies actually achieve their desired resolutions.

Why is it that we don't have the follow-through to keep our resolutions?

What can we do to keep the promises we make to ourselves in the new year?

How can we position ourselves to achieve our resolutions?

Since Oprah has dedicated the first week of this month to teaching millions how to live their best life in the areas of health, finances, and spiritual growth, I have decided to dedicate my first article of the new year to teaching millions how to live their best life when it comes to making and keeping New Year's resolutions.

Below you will find strategies that I have found helpful with assisting me with making and keeping my New Year's resolutions. Each strategy will help you to position yourself to actually achieve the resolutions you've set..


First, I suggest that you change your perspective on New Year's resolutions. If you change your perspective on what a New Year's resolution really is - you will then begin to keep your resolutions more consistently.
 I recommend that you look at resolutions as a goal.

By definition, a New Year's resolution is "a commitment that an individual makes to a project or the reforming of a habit, often a lifestyle change that is generally interpreted as advantageous." For some
 of you, although you know the lifestyle change you have committed to make over the next 365 days
 will be advantageous to your lives, again, most of you will fail to stay committed and follow-through
 on the resolution until the end of the year. Don't feel bad, I've been there and done that, too.

I think about my New Year's resolution for 2008,  for instance. I had ended 2007 by making the New Year's resolution to put my thoughts into words and share them with others at least twice a month during 2008. I had a monthly newsletter that I had created in 2007 and I wanted to stay committed to writing an article and posting it to my Website no later than the 5th of every month.

I also had a blog that I had started but was not really utilizing. I made the New Year's resolution to put my thoughts into words at least once a week and to share them with others using the blog as a way to become savvy with using a new form of technology and to improve my habit of writing on a more frequent basis.

Did I actually do any of this in 2008? NO! As a matter of fact, when January 5, 2008 came and went, I still had not put the finishing touches on my monthly article. With this realization, I panicked because I believed that I was breaking my New Year's resolution. "What is wrong with me?", I kept asking myself for weeks, as if this question was going to jump start me into action and help me get my articles written and posted onto my Website, blog, or even

January quickly turned into March, which then turned into July, and from there it became October, and the next thing I knew, it was a completely New Year again and I still had not posted any articles anywhere.

However, something interesting happened to me as the months moved along. I began to let go of the guilt of not succeeding at my New Year's resolution. I also began to appreciate the strides I made toward completing simple steps associated with my resolution. Even though I had missed the chance to fulfill my New Year's resolution of posting my articles, I did commit to the action of writing my thoughts on the page. In reality, I had failed to follow-through on the New Year's resolution, but I had succeeded at the goal of writing.

Once I changed my perspective to see New Year's resolutions as nothing but a goal,
 I began to operate differently - mentally, emotionally, and physically.

 I revised my resolution for 2008 into a goal where I told myself that my goal was to write my thoughts on the page whenever a thought worth writing entered into my mind. This goal became easier to keep. There was less stress on me to accomplish it. Amazingly, over time, I made progress.


Second, I suggest that you set a plan for achieving the goal in order to make and keep your resolutions.

A plan is nothing more than a set of actual steps (tasks) you complete toward the achievement of your goal.

Think about what your goal (resolution) is and then consider the action steps you will need to complete in order to make progress toward achieving it.

For my revised resolution (goal), my plan became to write whenever thoughts worth writing entered into my mind. That was simple enough for me to follow-through on because I found that the thoughts prompted me to act.


Third, I suggest that you obtain the right resources that will allow you to follow-through and achieve your goals.

Take into consideration what you have determined as the goal you will achieve in the New Year and what resources you will need in order to achieve that goal. Is it new workout equipment? Will you need a financial planner? Do you know the type of job site you must join? What type of bank account will you need? Which school will offer you the classes you need for the degree/certification you desire?

Create a list of the resources you currently possess that will help you to achieve your goal. Put a check mark next to the ones you definitely have and highlight the ones that you don't. Seek out and obtain the resources that you don't have so that you will have what you need to achieve your goal.

For my revised resolution, all I needed was a pen and paper. Therefore, I purchased two ink pens with four colors to help spark my creativity. I obtained a small pocket size notebook for my purse, a large notebook for my traveling suitcase, a simple desktop writing pad for my computer stand, and a journal for my bedside. These resources allowed me to write down the thoughts that entered my mind that I felt were worth writing.


Fourth, I suggest that you quickly readjust your thinking after you encounter a setback when attempting to follow-through and achieve your resolutions (goals).

There is an adage that says, "What you think about you bring about." Therefore, when you think negative thoughts about your poor progress in achieving your resolutions, you will have exactly that, poor progress.

I found that stressing over missing my deadline of January 5, 2008 to post my articles on my Website actually debilitated me into not taking action at all. I played the "woe is me" role for so many weeks that by the time I was ready to take action, a half of year was already gone.

Once I changed my thought patterns regarding the resolution, I began to see some progress. I readjusted first by changing my perspective of the resolution into a goal. Then I made a decision about how the goal should be carried out. Within a matter of weeks, I was actually making progress and achieving my goal.

Ensuring your success with achieving your goal will require you to quickly readjust to any setbacks. Don't do as I did and allow a lot of time to pass. As soon as you realize that you've hit a setback, readjust and keep moving forward.


Finally, in order to ensure that you can make and keep your resolutions, I suggest that you reward your progress.

Treat yourself to something that is personal to you. A new outfit, a brand new game for your PS2, a set of golf clubs, a candlelit bubble bath, some new jewelry, dinner out with family or friends, a night out on the town to see a movie of interest, a quiet evening at home, or even a gift card to your favorite store.

Whatever you give yourself, make sure that you provide it to yourself after you have readjusted to any setbacks you encountered. Also, give yourself a reward after you've reached certain milestones in your progress. No matter the reward you give yourself, it will serve as a motivator to help you make progress toward your goal, as well as, serve as a reminder of your success when you achieve your goal.

In November of last year, I treated myself to a big bag of the Garrett Mix - CaramelCrisp® & CheeseCorn™ popcorn as my reward for achieving my goal of writing. Garrett popcorn is my personal reward that I get whenever I've accomplished a major milestone in my life. Not only was I proud of myself for getting back on track and making progress toward my goal, but I was also proud of myself for realizing how to overcome the problem of not keeping my New Year's resolution.

What you will find, as I have discovered, is that the five strategies for making and keeping your New Year's resolutions rests upon you changing your perspective and seeing your resolutions as goals; setting a plan to achieve your goals; obtaining the right resources; readjusting to setbacks; and rewarding your progress.

When you follow these five suggested strategies for making and keeping your New Year's resolutions, you will find that you will live your best life by demonstrating more commitment and follow-through to keep your resolutions. Furthermore, you will position yourself to keep all of the promises you make to yourself for the things you want to achieve and accomplish in the new year.

Cassandra "D.I.V.A. of Dialog" Lee has a mission for educating and empowering audiences toward personal growth and career success. As a self-development expert, professional speaker, corporate trainer, author, and life coach, she uses "Divine Inspiration Vocally Applied" to provide strategies and solutions for helping her audiences via her live seminars, workshops, keynote speeches, training sessions, and one-on-one coaching sessions. To receive personal empowerment tidbits FREE each month, sign-up for her newsletter, Dialog Digest at here to reach Cassandra Lee

Cassandra Lee

Trainer and President of     SSANEE Training & Consulting Group
She serves as a facilitator for Skill Path Seminars and in a volunteer capacity as a
Sponsor/Club President   Toastmasters International in Chicago, Illinois

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