How To Turn Failures Into New Year Successes: A Guide For Making Your Resolutions Stick

I always prefer to look at the bright side of things, hunt down the silver linings, and uncover a sliver of positivity in every situation, no matter how dark and gloomy. Take unfulfilled goals for example. Didn't lose that 10 pounds I've been resolutioning for the past two years? Well, I've got 12 more months ahead to finally make it happen.

Didn't write that ebook I said I'd have in the can by years end? Good news is, I've learned so much in the past three months that I think I could write an even better ebook than I could have before.

Kept putting off the big website redesign and launching a consulting business? At least I can plan in even greater detail and come out swinging for the fences in Q1.

See? Things don't look that bad, right? Do me a favor - just nod and smile.

While my world may seem quite rosy through the glasses I'm perpetually wearing, the truth is, these are all goals that I committed to, but failed miserably at completing. That's nothing to brag about. That's a big 'ole "F" circled in bright red Sharpie on my own Commitment Test.

You might be in the same boat. You might be looking at your 2012 resolutions with dismay as they sit, unfulfilled on your vision board, or posted in your blog declaring for all to see the truth — you fell short.

Let's not make the same mistake twice.

Let's really stick to doing what we say we are going to do this year. Cause when we don't, we only hurt ourselves. Here's a few ideas, inspirational moves, and methods to keeping your goals alive until you red-line them as "done."

Making Your List

It's an annual pilgrimage we all make: sitting down at our desks, our big comfy chairs, our kitchen tables, and writing down our end of the year goals for the upcoming 12 months. This generally happens during the latter days of December when we start reflecting on the past 350-some-odd days, recall the things we've always wanted to see, do, hear, and touch, and make plans to turn dreams into reality. But how often do you actually accomplish them? Number three on your list may be "Make a million dollars," but how the hell are you going to accomplish that in 12 months? Or maybe it's a longer-term goal you plan on checking off your to-do list in three years. Even so, a million dollars won't just appear out of thin air.

This is the problem with New Year's Resolutions: all goals, no plans. We sit and cast our wishes, desires, and dreams on a sheet of paper, but make absolutely no effort to devise a plan on how to accomplish them as they die, hanging on a corkboard that eventually gets hidden behind shopping receipts, kid's artwork, grocery lists, and jury duty summonses.

See the rest after the break!

Breaking It Down

Instead of simply writing down your goals, plan on making them a reality. If your objective is to start your own consulting business on the side, also write down the dirty details on what goes into making this happen for real. Some questions that need to be answered may include how many hours of your day will be dedicated to attracting, working with, and following-up with clients? How will you re-arrange your life to allow that time? How will you market your business and when will you build your marketing plan? Will you have a website? What will it look like?

It becomes obvious that this goal of yours won't happen overnight, and you won't be able to simply set up shop and be successful. So once you've gathered up all of your questions surrounding your big desire, grab a weekly 2013 calendar and start plotting them out in terms of items to tackle over the course of the year, starting with the most important ones first. This way, you can mark off weekly and monthly milestones that will help you accomplish the Big Goal by the end of the year. Plus, this practice will keep you motivated and your goal at the forefront of your mind year-round, which means it won't be falling by the wayside in 2013.

Keeping Yourself Accountable

There's nothing like the fear of shame to keep your eye on the prize, so make your weekly calendar of tasks public record to your family, friends, and strangers. Gather up a group of fellow ambitious gals and hold a weekly Google Hangout session, Skype call, or in-person meetup to share your weekly wins and fails. Talk about what you learned, what you can do better next time, and share your knowledge with the group to help others.

Fair warning: not only will this keep you accountable, but you'll probably experience random sparks of inspiration and jolts of excitement for the week ahead.

Checking-In and The Art of The Pivot

After a few months, you may find that your goals change shape, spin off into new ones, or you realize that the vision you had in your head isn't panning out like you thought it would in the real world. It's time to reassess, recalculate your weekly assignments, and establish your new end-goal.

Maybe you got a promotion and you want to devote 100% for a while before launching your consulting gig. Maybe your crafting business will take up more time than you thought (since you forgot to include sleep in your new schedule). Maybe taking time away from your family made you realize that you'd rather be spending time with them than hovering over a laptop at 4:00am and falling asleep at 8:00pm. All of that is OK. Reevaluating your goals frequently will ensure that you're making the right moves for your heart, your mind, and your spirit. And if you decide that your Big Goal isn't all it was cracked up to be, at least you can say you came, you saw, and it was you who did the dumping.

Source: Flickr user