Out With New Year’s Resolutions by Yolanda M. Johnson-Bryant

Yolanda Johnson-BryantI’m willing to bet that like me, you’ve made countless New Year’s Resolutions over the years. Did you resolve to lose twenty pounds? Did you resolve to go back to school or did you resolve to find love? I’m sure any resolutions you made back then were out the door by the time Valentine’s Day rolled in and like many of us you were left disappointed, goals unachieved and outright defeated. It wasn’t until about a decade ago that I realized that I was going about it all wrong. I’d like to share a few tips that will help you jumpstart your renewal. So, throw out the notion of resolutions and focus on realistic transformation.

A practice that has worked for me over the years is writing down my goals. Today, we have so much going on: taking the kids to soccer practice, going to the doctor, taking care of our ailing parents, work, writing, raking the yard, etc. You name it, we constantly shove “things” into our schedule. Things that often times leave our most important tasks undone. We begin filling important time with frivolous activities. Soon, what begins to happen is we forget those important tasks, those things that are important and essential to our well being, our goals.

I encourage you to purchase a paper journal or use the electronic gadget of your choice and start writing down your goals. When writing down those goals, be very clear and specific. For example, If you want to obtain another degree, write this on the board, along with your action plan. It should include each step, the date you will start and the resources you will use to get there. Will you earn the degree online or in-residence? Will it be done in the daytime or evenings? Once you’ve mapped out the specifics, choose a finish date or time frame. Finish in three years is too vague. You might want to use a specific date or time frame, like June 11, 2017 or “right after my three year old finishes pre-school.” I find that this makes my “goals” and “life changes” more realistic and writing them down where I can see them and refer back to them is more of a motivator for me to get them done. Lastly, I suggest adding a reward at the end of your goal. How will you reward yourself for achieving this goal? After you obtain that degree, will you purchase a new car? Will you start your own business? Find something to celebrate your achievement.

Lastly, create a vision board. I have fun with my vision board, and although it changes yearly, it has helped me create, visualize and achieve many goals. If you’re not familiar with vision boards, I invite you to “google” vision boards or visit Pinterest for great examples of them. Your vision board can be any size you want it to be. I have a large office, so my board is large. What do I have on my vision board? My dream car and home, that plan for my breakout business, a photo of myself, Photoshopped twenty pounds lighter, 5K dates, and a picture of a “NO OCD ZONE,” because let’s face it, some of us have those tendencies. This is only a few of the many goals and future achievements I have on my vision board and I enjoyed creating it.

In closing, I strongly encourage you to do away with resolutions, as they will only set you up to fail. Obtain a journal and write down your goals, again, being specific and detailed. Create a vision board so your goals are more visual and make sure your board is somewhere in front of you where you can see your goals on a daily basis. A daily reminder of what I’m working so hard for always makes me smile and want to work harder toward those goals. 2015 CAN be your year. It’s up to you!

Yolanda M. Johnson-Bryant is a writer, publisher and consulting entrepreneur, and resides in North Carolina. She is the President of Bryant Consulting and owner of Literary Wonders Media Group. Yolanda has published several books and articles. Visit her website at yolandamjohnsonbryant.com or tune in to her weekly radio show at blogtalkradio.com/ontheairwiththatliterarylady. Follow her on Facebook at facebook.com/yolandajohnsonbryant and on Twitter at @ymjauthor.

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