This time of year, we routinely create a list of New Year’s Resolutions. By the end of December, we often discover when we look over the original list that we missed the target. Let’s start this year understanding that according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary a “resolution is a firm, determined expression of intention” and explore how we get from intention to results. Only then will we experience real-life examples of the changes we envisioned.

Instead of stopping with the “pie in the sky” picture, focus on the process of writing a recipe for change. If you like to bake, remember that the recipe not only has a picture of the finished product, it lists the ingredients, each step to take to blend it all together, how to check periodically to tell if it’s done, what temperature you need to set the oven, and when to take it out and taste the finished product.

In coaching, we speak of visioning instead of dreaming. I think of this as a way of getting our heads out of the clouds and back down to earth. Visioning becomes a dream with a deadline. To begin your visioning process for both personal and professional goals, take the following steps:

  1. Identify one specific goal that you have for the New Year. Remember to take just one thing at a time. Be clear about your goal. What will it look like when complete? How will you and others know that you’ve accomplished that goal?
  2. Put your goal in writing and share it with others. This will provide a form of accountability – and inspiration when you forget why you set the goal in the first place!
  3. Make a list of tasks required and identify owners and “by-when” dates for completion.
  4. Create interim check points for each task and decide how you will evaluate your progress (mini-milestones, timelines, financial reports, written or verbal feedback from others, etc.)
  5. Communicate with others who are involved in this project – at a minimum those with whom you shared your goal originally. Celebrate and evaluate your success. When all tasks are completed and all reports reviewed, how does the end result compare to your earlier vision? What is different now having achieved this goal? What change will you make next time?
  6. Begin again. Envision new opportunities for your future or your business and set a new goal.

Remember that this was not just a dream. It was a vision with an action plan. You made a decision to take practical steps to drive change and produce new results. You identified the process and initiated the necessary actions. You regularly evaluated your progress and made the necessary adjustments to stay on track with your original vision. The “pie in the sky” is now on your plate.

Relax. Reward yourself and others involved in your goal. Then identify what’s next and begin to realize your resolutions again.

What resolutions have you made for the New Year? We’d love to support you in moving your vision into reality and having the best year yet!

With Warm Regards,