New Year’s Goals – Tactics, Tips and Success for 2011!

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Each New Year brings the opportunity of a fresh start for individuals and business organizations. January marks the time when people let go of 2010 and plan for 2011. Many people make personal goals for the New Year such as going to the gym or spending time with friends. In business, it is also important to set goals for the New Year. It is the time to analyze the successes of 2010 and decide what to continue and change for the upcoming year. Business New Year’s Resolutions can set the objectives for the entire business or they may describe the personal determinations of individual employees. In either situation, it is essential to make resolutions that are specific and attainable and make a plan to accomplish those goals so the resolutions survive through February.

How to Set Your Goals

Mark with Cross Pointe Innovations believes in the theory of making S.M.A.R.T. goals. S.M.A.R.T. describes goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound. Goals that are made to meet these criteria are considered the most successful. Heather Legge with Envision Success also has a method for making New Year’s Resolutions.  She explained, “First, I’d highly recommend looking at resolutions as goals or commitments rather than mere intentions. Second, consider the value of the resolution or goal and ‘right fit.’ Ask questions such as: What are you not doing today, that you can do tomorrow, that will make a difference? Why this goal, why now? What does accomplishing it do for you as a person? Leave others out of the scenario and determine what’s driving the desire to achieve.

Third, once you’ve determined the right type of goal or resolution, check on attainability and determine a metric or measurement so there is no question when you get it done.  Any goal worth going after will offer some combination of both exciting and scary when you think about the end result or the process.  Goals should stretch you out of your comfort zone, but not stretch you to the point where you panic, retreat or give up.

There is significant power in setting realistic goals. Many people are overly optimistic when committing, but then don’t keep their promises because they failed to recognize the effort needed.  It’s far better to set bench-marks or mini-goals leading up to achieving a bigger goal, so you taste success along the way, versus setting an enormous goal that sets up feelings of stress and doubt immediately. When you commit to a goal that’s too big of a stretch and then fall down and “fail” by not achieving it by the date, it disappoints. Beyond this, it dents your confidence.  Additionally, there is often guilt and doubt about whether other goals can be achieved.  For many, there is a long trend of these ‘failures’, which is the main reason some people don’t write their goals down. Frankly, this is silly.  Don’t waste another second thinking about ‘failures’ from your past, unless you are merely applying lessons learned.  Guilt only hinders progress, so let it go.

“There is also huge, life-changing power in setting big, exciting goals that force you to grow, sometimes called BHAGs, or Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals. Often, it’s the process that enriches us more that the ‘desired outcome.’  Similar to the experience of creating a business plan, the biggest take-aways are not the finished product, or even the financial resources that come as a result of a well-laid plan, but the growth that occurs for the people involved in creating the plan.  If in doubt, don’t rob yourself of the opportunity to be successful!  Take the easier route that is sure to start the momentum rolling and help you be far more successful long term: set a smaller goal, get it done, and relish your success, then repeat.

“Fourth, write it down, and include a date when it is to be completed. We all know that those who write down their goals and intentions are more likely to actually experience the benefits of completing them.”

Make a Resolution You Want to Accomplish

Kris Thaller, a professional business coach with Coaching Dimensions, helps individuals and business create goals that they will want to accomplish. Kris said, “You would think the New Year would bring a sense of possibility, but when we look at a New Year’s Resolution, we often feel a sense of heaviness and obligation. This sense of heaviness is not the spontaneous, joy-filled experience we all want in our lives. Resolutions and goals are often about things we’re not going to do, like stopping smoking and not eating so much. For example, I resolve to lose weight. How many of us wake up and say, ‘Yippee, I am going to lose weight.’ The question to ask is ‘What am I willing to become interested in and what I am willing to pursue and get curious about in my life?’ Becoming curious about being physically fit and healthy is a lot more interesting than to resolve to lose weight.

“Choosing a goal such as, ‘To walk on the beach in my new bikini,’ or ‘To surf in Hawaii,’ is a lot more interesting than losing weight. Of course to do either you’ll need to take actions such as working out and eating wisely so you can. The byproduct of those two actions would be losing weight. But the interest is maintained because of the goal. Create goals that are exciting, worthwhile and interesting, that have juice for you!”

Health


Chiropractic-
It’s difficult to achieve health goals when you don’t feel well enough to get the exercise you need.  There are, of course, a number of different elements involved in feeling healthy, but many of the causes of daily pain or sickness can be helped or even alleviated by visiting a chiropractor as proper spine alignment is key to general health.

Fitness- Many people make personal New Year’s Resolutions focused on improving their health. Certified Wellness Coach Ian Thompson at Madonna ProActive teaches and helps people in Lincoln to achieve wellness safely and successfully. Ian advises, “You should only set those resolutions that you are actually ready to make. Many times we set out to make a change that only (kind of) sounds good, either to us, or others, but we are in fact not really ready to attempt. People quit smoking over and over because they are not actually ready to make the commitment to quit. People start exercise programs because they are told they should by others, but they are not actually ready for it. These failures only add to the doubt in ourselves and make it harder when we are actually ready.

“Set small goals. Keep focused on the desired outcome, and accept/understand that the small, measurable goals are the only way to get there. We cannot just jump to the top of the ladder; we must climb the rungs one at a time. The goals we set are those rungs. Take the time to think about the smaller goals. If you want to improve fitness, set a certain number of realistic times and/or duration you want to accomplish in a week. If your goal is to improve eating habits, add one fruit per day three days a week; or if your resolution is spiritually based, take five minutes three times a week to pray or meditate, quietly focusing on the purpose of the resolution.

Madonna ProActive approaches wellness from the perspective that the mind, body and spirit are not separate entities of a human being, but an interconnected system. We find that when people are seeking lasting, lifestyle improvements, they typically are more successful when they take smaller steps in multiple areas of their lives rather than setting an overwhelming, generally unrealistic stab at a diet or exercise plan. Rather than being too vigorous, we provide brief, small group education, extended programs and/or one-on-one consultations with professionals like our personal trainers, registered dietitians, registered nurses, physical therapists and wellness coaches. Or, if a person feels they can independently achieve their goals, but wants a supportive environment in which to start the process, ProActive is open to the public and offers more than 100 land and water classes each week, created to suit all ability levels. In addition, we offer meditation and relaxation classes designed to help deal with everyday stresses that all to often sabotage our best laid plans. At ProActive, there is something for everyone and we take it personally that our success is based on our members’ success.”

Dave Kentopp with Anytime Fitness of Lincoln also stresses the importance of making fitness a priority during January and the other months of the year. Dave explained, “Whether you declare fitness to be a New Year’s Resolution or not, it’s very important to take care of yourself.  Your health can be threatened with winter maladies such as colds and flu, not to mention heart attacks and strokes.  You are twice as likely to suffer a heart attack in the winter as in the summer months.  Winter fatigue and depression are also more likely with little to no exercise.”

The most common health-related resolution is to lose weight, and fitness plays a large part in achieving weight-loss resolutions. Kristin Hain, owner of Lift Fitness helps people to set and meet their weight-loss goals. Kristin said, “The New Year marks a beginning, not only in time and date, but in people’s lives.  Reflecting on the year that’s gone by and a desire to do something better in the year ahead, often for themselves physically and/or financially.  In addition, the holidays are a time of gatherings with family, friends and co-workers and typically include overabundance of foods and drinks, which are usually not the healthiest choices.  Therefore, many people finish the holiday season feeling uncomfortable in their own skin, not happy with what they see in the mirror and perhaps not fitting into the clothes they would like.  So comes the New Year, a new date, a look ahead to the future and a chance for them to reverse the bad habits or unhealthy choices they’ve made during the holidays.

The first reason why many people fail in reaching their New Year’s resolution goals is that they simply set their goals too high.  For example, someone may say they want to lose 20 pounds, but then they expect it to happen immediately and get frustrated when they find it takes time.  The pounds and bad habits didn’t happen overnight and they won’t be reversed overnight either.  Being realistic with your goals and also having a realistic timeline to achieve them will help lessen the pressure and make it more likely to achieve.  Another big reason is that most people who have fitness or weight loss goals don’t really know how to go about achieving them.  We live in a society where everything has become instant…fast food, instant messaging, instant information…but good health and fitness are not instant!  There are also many different aspects to getting healthy and fit that must be addressed.  It’s not just a workout, not just a diet, not just a coach or trainer.  All of these things present together will help ensure the success of the resolution.

Lift Fitness offers a comprehensive approach to health and fitness unlike any other in the industry.  Using Beachbody fitness programs, we help each person chose a program that will be right for them.  In order for a workout to be effective, it needs to fit the person and their goals, and they must enjoy doing it.  The fitness programs are on DVD and done in the privacy of your own home. There are no monthly gym memberships, fighting for parking or a spot in class, and it cuts down on your time commitment when you don’t have to drive somewhere.  Each fitness program comes with a complete diet and nutrition guide to teach people how to eat properly for the program.  Once they have started the fitness program, we offer free ongoing support and encouragement to help keep them on track.”

Jeff Dousharm of Tiger Rock Academy gives the following advice when it comes to attaining new year’s goals: “First make goal setting a year-round activity, not just once a year.  Second, make sure the resolution is more than just a ‘wish’.  Goals have deadlines and big goals are really just a culmination of a bunch of smaller, more manageable goals.”  He goes on to say, “Goal setting and achievement is part of what we do at Tiger Rock Academy and it’s an integral part of our training.  The lessons you learn on the floor aren’t just physical, they are mental and emotional as well.  The toughness and confidence developed carries over to everything we do.”

Jill Robertson, owner of Shape Up, also had some advice for making healthy New Year’s Resolutions. She said, “My advice to people wanting to maintain their resolutions is to make your goals realistic and make a commitment to a lifestyle change. I would suggest that people wanting to lose weight should consider eating natural, whole food without preservatives or chemicals.  The book, The Perfect 10 Diet, by Dr. Michael Aziz is an excellent book describing what food to eat and what to stay away from. People making a commitment to a lifestyle change and diet plan should consider adding the Arasys Body Shaping System to their options.  The Arasys can burn an additional 1,000 calories per hour, it burns fat, builds muscle and boosts your metabolism.  It can help people get results much faster than just diet or exercise alone. The first session to try the Arasys is only $50.00.  After that there are packages available.  Businesses could buy a gift certificate as a prize for their wellness programs.”

Nutrition- Tony Lucero with Body by Vi also works with people to achieve their weight-loss goals. He suggests that people make “realistic, short term goals” when making a weight loss plan. Body by Vi provides nutritious shakes that help people get proper nutrition and lose weight. Tony said, “A shake a day melts the pounds away,” and he explained that each shake contains more nutrition in one serving than most people get all week. When working with clients to reach their weight loss goals, Tony emphasizes preparing weekly goals.  You must reflect on the successes in the past weeks in order to make appropriate goals for the next week. This may include energy levels or the amount of visits to the gym throughout the week. Tony also advises that when making a resolution for weight loss, “Eighty percent of the changes you want to make are nutrition. Enjoy the process and have fun, but make sure that you are always placing nutrition first.”

Karen Shanks of Physicians Weight Loss Centers comments, “Over 66 percent of adult Americans are considered overweight or obese by recent studies, so it’s not surprising to find that weight loss is one of the most popular resolutions.  It’s important to understand that your weight loss success depends on your readiness to take on the challenge and then your motivation to make long-term lifestyle changes that require healthy food and exercise in order to maintain your healthy weight. ”  Working with a weight loss facility is one way to obtain your goal, especially if you are one of those people who needs some extra guidance.  Karen says, “Unlike many other weight loss facilities, Physicians Weight Loss Centers is a medically supervised clinic.  Each weight loss program begins and ends with a blood draw, EKG and doctor’s visit in order to track the improvements not only with your weight loss, but also with any health-related issues such as high cholesterol, for example.  With doctors and nurses on staff, as well as certified staff counselors, we can offer you the best tools, support, and encouragement needed to help improve your health and quality of life. “

Mike Bevard of Capital City Boot Camps boils nutrition advice down to this: “When you eat a simple, healthy diet, you’ll never again be tempted to try the latest fad diet to drop a few pounds.  Choose to eat lean proteins, seasonal vegetables and whole grains and avoid sugar, fried food and processed carbohydrates on a daily basis and enjoy living life at your ideal weight.”  By adding this in to a healthy exercise program, you can finally achieve your goal of successful, lasting weight loss and good health.

Oral Health-
Oral health is another area that we should focus on throughout the year. If oral health hasn’t been a priority in your life, the New Year is a perfect time to start. Dr. Rusty Lewis from Lewis Family Dentistry offered some facts about oral care that many people don’t realize. We hope that you consider these ten facts when making your New Year’s Resolutions:
1. Your routine dental checkups are also oral cancer screenings.
2. Gum disease has been linked to heart disease.
3. Regular checkups can prevent cavities, root canals, gum disease, oral cancer and other oral conditions.
4. Brushing 2 times a day will help keep cavities away.
5. Bad breath could be from a dental problem/condition.
6. Proper nutrition is important for good oral health.
7. Dental problems do not go away or get better on their own. The earlier you seek treatment the easier and less expensive things are.
8. A root canal is usually not painful.
9. Toothbrushes should be changed every 3 months.
10. Three steps to good oral care: brush 2x/day, floss daily, 6-month routine dental visits.

Finances

Every year we as individuals and as businesspeople must plan for our financial prosperity throughout the upcoming year. The best way to make projections for the upcoming year is to look at the results from 2010. Making a financial plan for the New Year can be difficult and overwhelming, but there are many professionals in the area to help. Aaron Newell with Accounts Receivable Solutions suggests that New Year’s Resolutions “should be goals with a strategic plan rather than resolutions. Celebrate the small victories along the way.  Take some time and really think about what it is that you really want.” Aaron encourages us to think beyond our limitations and explained how we have become conditioned to think within boundaries. He said, “Here is a great example of how we have become conditioned to limitations:  Give a child a piece of paper and a pen and tell them that for the next five minutes everything they write down they will get.  The child will write frantically until the timer goes off and you will literally have to tell them to stop more than once.  Try this with adults over the age of 30 and they will write for maybe 30 seconds, then look up at everyone else, maybe write a few more things and then look around again.  This is because we have been conditioned that there are limitations on what we can accomplish.  Make 2011 the year that you push yourself and accomplish something great!”

Aaron advises businesses and helps them to set goals for their financial prosperity. He explained, “Contrary to popular belief you need to focus on your strengths and not on weaknesses.  We can allow businesses to focus on what they do best, and not be pulled in 20 different directions. When we are pulled in so many directions we are not able to give any of them 100%.  At Accounts Receivable Solutions we are professionals at collecting past due receivables so you can continue to focus on your business therefore working in your most profitable arena. While planning for the new year and showing your actual numbers, profit, size of accounts receivable, expenses etc., we can help businesses analyze their current collection procedures as well as create a plan to boost collections when they need to be turned to an agency.”

Working with a financial planner is another key to achieving monetary goals in the new year.  John Oestreich of Waddell & Reed says, “From a financial standpoint, a common resolution is to get all of their finances in order and get a clear vision of where they sit.  People need to know about their retirement picture: where they are now and what they need to do to retire the way they want when they want.  People also need to look at their ownership in a business if applicable as this can represent a large chunk of their retirement.  We need to make sure their goals are in line with their actual assets.  Those with children or grandchildren should also look at education planning goals.  With the rising cost of education, it’s more important than ever to plan these goals as soon as possible.”

Meeting with your financial advisor on at least a yearly basis is very important.  “Things change,” John points out.  “The economy, tax laws, their lives, everything.  Financial advisors need to keep their clients on the right track and keep up with these changes.  We need to see what adjustments need to be made or what new opportunities we can take advantage of.  You need to seek out a professional to help you with these issues and the process should be a very comfortable one.  Financial issues can be very daunting and complex for individuals, but that’s what the professionals are here for: to make the process easy and understandable.”

Working with a professional accountant is also an important goal to keep in mind this year.  Many of us think of accountants when it comes to tax time, but rarely think of them throughout the year.  As business owners, it’s vitally important to work with a professional accountant on a regular basis.  As an individual, you should opt to use a professional for tax time rather than doing them yourself as a skilled accountant can easily save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars…as well as alleviate any fear that you have improperly completed your tax return.

Other Issues


Pre-Planning-
No matter what age we are, it’s never too early to begin pre-planning final arrangements.  Working with a pre-planning specialist now can save your family time, money and the emotional stress it would cause to have to take care of your arrangements should something happen to you.  In addition, it will almost certainly be beneficial to lock in prices in today’s economy as opposed to years down the road when prices will have mostly likely gone up.

Staffing-
As a business owner, it’s likely that staffing concerns always play a big part in your everyday stress.  It’s also likely that you are taking time away from what you do best to try to handle staffing situations that you have little to no training in.  Why not leave it to the professionals this year and work with a staffing service?  You’ll not only save yourself time and stress, but you’ll also likely see an increase in the qualify of people working for you.

Increasing Employee Relations-
Getting along with your staff and having them get along with each other is vital in making your business a success.  One way to help improve relationships is to have a company retreat at least yearly.  Plan early and include a wonderful meal catered by a local restaurant, some entertainment and a break from the office and everyone will reap the rewards.

Manage Stress & Fight Habits

Jeff Martin has seen thousands of clients and taught them self-hypnosis in order to change their lives. Lincoln Hypnosis specializes in self-hypnosis to help people lose weight, quit smoking and manage stress. They teach self-hypnosis, which offers a positive solution through hypnosis that has been proven to be very effective. Jeff also helps students to reduce test anxiety and improve their athletic performance. Jeff uses the Mcfall method of hypnosis, which he considers the best method that he has seen in more than 20 years. Lincoln Hypnosis offers a free hypnosis screening to all their clients, because Jeff believes that you cannot predict human nature. Jeff seeks to help every person change his or her unwanted negative habits and patterns through hypnosis.

Picking up a new hobby can also be a great way to manage stress.  Karen from ArtGlass Unlimited says, “After the stress of the holidays, it’s a good time to resolve to do something for ourselves.  Creativity is a good way to reenergize.  At ArtGlass Unlimited, we offer a complete range of classes from one-session workshop to ongoing weekly classes so we have a lot to choose from for those who either want to start a new hobby or just want to take a fun class and relax.”

Seek Assistance with Your New Years Resolutions

There are many businesses in the local Lincoln area that assist businesses in goal making and implementing. One such business isCoaching Dimensions . Kris explained how she contributes to the process of making successful New Year’s Resolutions with Coaching Dimensions. She said, “Achieving goals can only occur if the goals have meaning and relevance for us. I support my clients to discover what has ‘juice’ for them and then craft the goals out of that. We then look together at how to take you beyond where you normally stop yourself, personally or professionally. Is it self-limiting chatter, ineffective use of your energy, not letting in support, promising too big or something else? Any or all of these can derail a goal.

“Like any other coach, I equip my players to play their very best game. Life, like every game, has a playing field. No matter how smart and how talented we are, we all need to know how the playing field works and what its rules for engagement are in order to play skillfully. I teach people simple pragmatic tools and skill sets so they take action and score on the playing field of life. I offer individual coaching for personal and professional development, organizational soft skill training and coaching and coaching groups for small business owners.”

Lori Botz with Coach2Win points out, “Without innovation, your ideas and the new business architecture you’ll design will stay just that—ideas and dreams.  Coaching is the best way to challenge yourself in 2011.  Make the ‘Pursuit of Mastery’ one of your business goals this year and let a coach help you achieve it!”

Setting goals and making a plan to realize those goals can feel overwhelming or tedious, but the planning is necessary in order to achieve the most success throughout the year. Utilizing the services of a professional coach can ensure efficient planning and save you time and money throughout the year.

Success Stories

–Lori Miller of Lincoln Tent and Awning on Tiger Rock Academy:
“I started Tiger Rock in October of 2010, thinking I needed some motivation to keep me from being a couch potato! Typical gyms weren’t working. Sure there are classes, but they have 30 people in them and a teacher who doesn’t remember your name from class to class. So I went in with the goal of going each week and toning up my body.

The workouts at first are very HARD! I thought I might die. They came easier and easier as I kept going. Each week they change the workout to focus on a different part of your body, so it keeps your body guessing. Within a few months, I was much stronger and could do push ups with the best of them! If I missed a week or two I got a call asking where I was and when we could schedule a time to get me in there and working! It’s the only thing I’ve stuck with and that’s due to the personal attention and fun workouts.”

–John Holtgrew, PowerBand Graphics, on Coach2Win
“A coach is someone who trains you to do better. They challenge you to be better at what you do through hard work, commitment and accountability. That’s exactly what Lori does. I chose Lori because she was highly recommended and once you spend time with her it’s obvious why. She’s honest, she pushes you to make your business stronger and she’s determined to help you play bigger and play better.

She’s coached me to focus on the things I love about my business and helped me get the work I want, not just the work I need. I’d recommend her to anyone needing to up their game!”

–Shane and Sunny Dwyer, Shane & Sunny Photography, on Physicians Weight Loss Centers
Shane Dwyer and his wife, Sonny, began their personalized programs with Physicians Weight Loss on Oct. 11. Since the start of their diets, Shane has lost 40 pounds and Sunny has lost more than 20 pounds. Shane explained, “My wife and I reached a point where we had to go up a size in pants and slacks.” At this point, the couple decided to stop into Physicians Weight Loss next door to their photography studio. Staff members conducted several measurements to discover the body compositions of Shane and Sunny including hydration and body fat levels. They then gave Shane and Sunny options for various diet plans for them to choose from in order to best fit their lifestyles.

The plans are easy to follow and don’t take a lot of thought. Shane said the staff explained “what to eat, when to eat and how much to eat.” The personalized diets include foods and amounts each person should eat, and Physicians Weigh Loss also provides additional products including snack bars and protein supplements. He said, “As long as you stick to their recommendations, the weight just falls off. It’s unlike any other program or system I’ve tried before.” Shane and Sunny were able to notice results within the first few days of their diet plan, and each week they noticed their clothes fitting differently. Shane attributed a portion of their success to the support of the employees at Physicians Weight Loss. Shane and Sunny go into Physicians Weight Loss Centers twice a week to weigh themselves, and Shane said, “Because you go in and you have their support, it’s easier to stay on track.” The couple has experienced great results from their programs at Physicians Weight Loss Centers and plans to realize even more success through their programs. Shane shared that he plans to lose another 15 pounds in the next few weeks, and Sunny plans to lose another 5 pounds in order to reach her goal.