I love the last week of the year. Especially at the gym. This week, the squat racks are empty and the benches are available. It’s a stark contrast to next week when the New Years Resolutioners, the New Year New Me Crowd, will invade our friendly confines making it impossible to get on the equipment in a timely manner. Every year, it’s the same, and every year, they’re all gone by Valentine’s Day.

I will never vilify people who are interesting in making themselves better, but most of us go about it the wrong way. We start with great intentions but those eventually fade and the resolutions we made fade with them. The truth is resolutions don’t work. Plans do. Starting 2017 strong starts with using this last week of 2016 to finalize those plans.

A great plan will, as I laid out in November, identify what we want, why we want it and the action steps required to get it.  If we took the time to list these, now is the time to go back through it and make our last minute edits. If we let it slip through the cracks our calendars, now is the time to answer those questions. As we make our edits, we should do all we can to include three critical elements.

Make It Emotional

The more emotion we put into this plan, the more power we have to stick to it when times get tough. It’s the emotion that keeps us going back to the gym, not the logic.

Make It BIG

It’s hard to get excited about small goals. Make our plans as BIG as we can to keep us motivated throughout the entire year.

Take The Long View

People tend to over esitmate what they can do in a day but underestimate what they can do over the course a year

This anonymous quote sums up perfectly why resolutions fail. People don’t see progress so they quit. As we finalize out plans, we must take a long view and realize that it’s only through consistent action that we’ll achieve our goals. Take the long view and we can see how those little actions add up to big achievements.

This week is, for most of us, is the slowest week of the year. That makes it a great time to finalize our plan to make 2017 our best ever. Saturday, the ball will drop, the Buckeyes will win and our year will be here. Be ready when it comes by using the emotions of your plans, making them big and taking the long view and we’ll still be here after March.

 

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