It’s the most wonderful time of the year. As 2017 is coming to a close, we celebrate Christmas, get together with family, remember the joys of 2017 and all in all, be merry. It’s a time of joy and celebration, as long as you don’t think back to January 2017. Because if you’re anything like me, I’m sure you had resolutions at the beginning of the year that are just distant memories right now. And I’d even bet that when next month rolls around, you’re going to be ready to take another stab at new year resolutions. I think that’s a fantastic idea, but 2018 needs to be the year you stick to them. Why? Because you need to trust yourself.
In Stephen M.R. Covey’s book The Speed of Trust, he dives into the idea that trust is the most important factor in making a team effective and capable of moving quickly. Throughout the book, Covey gives tips for how to build trust with others and as a team, but early on, he discusses the foundation to any type of trust: self trust.
If you want to build trust with others, you have to first be able to trust yourself.
Seems easy enough, right? I thought so, too, until I continued reading and Covey started asserting that building trust with yourself means keeping commitments you make to yourself like getting up early to exercise, reading daily or eating healthy. Sounds a whole lot like those New Year’s resolutions are more important than maybe we thought.
Being able to trust yourself doesn’t just matter in building trust with others, though. For me, whenever I keep my commitments to myself, I see a change in my daily life. If I commit to run three times a week and actually do it, I feel so much better about myself. I feel confidence in whatever else comes my way because I’ve stuck to my own commitments. If I know that whatever I put my mind to, I’ll do, then I’ll take that same attitude with me into my relationships, work or anything else life throws at me (excellent!). I see a snowball effect whenever I keep small commitments to myself, it makes my other commitments easier to take care of.
I currently work at Cross Point Church in Nashville, Tennessee, and our lead pastor, Kevin Queen, shared recently with our staff what he thinks is the “difference maker” in our lives: belief. He talked about the importance about what you believe about God, others, prayer, the Bible and others. But one of the most substantial notions that stuck with me was the importance of what you believe about yourself. Kevin asserted that what you believe about yourself will frame your whole outlook on your day, week, month and life.
If you believe you’re a great leader, you’ll attack things as a great leader.
If you believe you’re a bad friend, you won’t reach out to old friends to reconnect and will let friendships dwindle. If you believe that you’re someone who sticks to their word, then you will follow through. And I think one of the easiest ways to make yourself believe in yourself is by earning trust with yourself through the daily commitments you follow through on. If you trust yourself, you’ll believe in yourself.
So for 2018, I want my resolutions to stick. I want to keep my commitments to myself. I want to trust me. But how do we do that? How do we get to December 2018, look back over a cup of hot cocoa and cookies and say, “Great job me!”? Here are three super practical ways to stick to it in 2018.
1. Technology is your friend. Set a reminder.
A few years ago, I realized that I was really bad at reading consistently. I wanted to read on a more regular basis, so I set a reminder in my phone. Every night at 9:20 p.m., a reminder goes off that says “Read.” I don’t always read when that reminder goes off, but the daily “ding” from my phone puts reading at the front of my mind daily. It’s made reading a rhythm of my life that my phone takes care of putting in place for me.
2. Get someone on your team.
Resolutions are scary, I think. Because to have a resolution, you need to admit that some area of your life needs improvement. Admitting that to yourself is one thing, but to tell someone else that you’re failing in an area of your life and need to improve can be scary. However, I’ve only found success in trying to improve when I have someone else that knows I’m doing it. If I’m the only one that knows I’m trying to improve, no big deal if I quit. If someone else knows, though, they’ll be able to check in on your progress, encourage you when you want to quit and be a teammate on your resolution journey.
3. Set mini goals along the way.
Over the past couple of months at work, my boss has implemented something called “6×6.” 6×6 stands for six goals in six weeks. So what our team does is come up with six achievable goals that we can knock out in six weeks. Those pair with our overall yearly goals that we set in our performance reviews. When you look at doing something big, it’s often hard to even know where to start, but breaking down a lofty goal into six-week chunks makes it way more doable. So take your resolution and knock it out a couple of weeks at a time.
I hope these tips are helpful and that you’re able to stick to your resolutions this year, and I’d love to know any tricks you’ve learned along the way. Let’s stick to our goals for 2018 together!