Yes, it’s that time again – time to promise yourself you’ll shed a few pounds, restart your exercise program and finally finish reading that Tolstoy novel you’ve been working on for the past few years. As a Toastmaster, you’re probably thinking about setting a few New Year’s resolutions for yourself or your club. While we heartily encourage you to do so (Finish that CC! Encourage everyone to help your club earn that DCP award!), we’d like to offer some advice on how to make your 2010 resolutions stick:
- Write them down. The simple act of committing your New Year’s resolutions to paper (or to an electronic document, if you prefer) will help you remember them and act upon them later. Ideas that stay trapped in your mind don’t have the staying power of ideas that pass through your hands onto a document of some sort. The idea here is really just to perform the act of writing down your goals more than to create a reminder for future reading, though if you happen to write it down in a place where you’ll retrieve it and read it later, so much the better.
- Pace yourself. Divide your goals into smaller, easily achievable steps, then spread these sub-goals as evenly as possible throughout the year. For example, if you want to complete your CC by the end of 2010, and you’ve only completed four projects, you’ll find it easier if you set yourself the goal of completing one of your remaining speeches every two months.
- Schedule them. Once you’ve decided on a pace you can live with (one manual speech per month? one new member every other meeting?), mark your specific goal dates on a calendar, and do your best to achieve those goals.
- Share your goals with others. If you tell your family, friends and fellow Toastmasters about your goals and aspirations for the year, you will create your own personal team of well-wishers who will provide you with the encouragement and motivation to get the job done on time.
- Set attainable goals. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Before you set yourself up for disappointment, make sure you’re being realistic about what you can comfortably achieve in a year’s time. It’s much better to set yourself an attainable goal and surpass it than to set the bar too high and become discouraged.
Whatever your New Year’s goals may be, remember that you don’t have to do it alone. Your fellow Toastmasters are there to help, and many of them have already walked the path you’re walking now. So don’t be shy – ask for help if you need it, and before you know it, you’ll have the courage to conquer the next year’s resolutions.
(Article courtesy of Toastmasters International)