3 tips on how to help you keep your New Year’s Resolution going

By Jessica Ward

Goodbye February, hello March! Now that we are making our way into the third month (gasp) of the year, how is your New Year’s resolution going? If you started your answer with, “Umm…” don’t worry you’re not alone. Do you wonder why you’re not on track even though you had the best of intentions?  

I’ve read a couple of blogs recently that focus on keeping your New Year’s resolutions/goals. A few takeaways for me are: make your goal measurable and time bound, develop the steps you need to accomplish to reach your resolution, and if you aren’t sure where to start, begin with the smallest/easiest step.

Using a Lean problem solving method, gPDCA  – which stands for “grasp, plan, do, check, adjust” can help develop the steps to accomplish your measurable and time bound goal.   If you want a bit more detail, keep on reading.

     1.  Forget SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time bound. According to Jamie Flinchbaugh’s blog, Forget the New Year’s resolution, your resolution only needs to be measurable and time bound, the other measures are redundant.

          •    Example: “I want to lose weight.” vs. “I want to lose 10 pounds by March 1st.”

     2.   Develop an action plan. How are you going to achieve your resolution? Flinchbaugh provides a template in his blog post that can be a useful tool to help get you started. Don’t be afraid to modify the template and make it your own; change the headers, draw pictures, take out columns, or add columns. Be specific with your plan and ask yourself the following questions:

          •   What are some roadblocks that are preventing you from reaching your goal?
          •   Do you have what you need (knowledge, people, equipment) to meet your goal?
          •   What specific steps do you need to reach your goal?
          •   When will you complete each step?

As I mentioned earlier, gDPCA is a good method to help develop an action plan. Check out the Department of Enterprise Service’s website to learn more about gPDCA problem solving method.

     3.Tackle the easy win first. Penelope Trunk’s blog post, “How to keep a New Year’s resolution,” suggests to “start with something small, relatively easy to do, and not necessarily related to what you want to change.” I suggest starting with a small step that IS related to your resolution in order to build momentum and get you that much closer to hitting your goal. You can do it!

Jessica Ward is a member of Results Washington’s Lean fellowship program.