You wouldn't think of planting a tree without first preparing a bed of rich soil, fertilizer and plenty of water. Likewise, without a method or system, our resolutions soon wither and fade.
So, what are the nutrients for personal growth?
2. Reflection. Ideas need to simmer or wash over you like a soothing stream. You need quiet reflection to let those inspirational thoughts mix with the realities of life. Racing from one moment to the next can rob you of the reflection you need to move to the next level. I often do have my best times of reflection in the early morning.
3. Journaling. Putting your thoughts down on paper (or on screen) gives you a record of what you thought, felt and believed on a particular day. It becomes something you can work with and adjust as you grapple with those ideas and really massage them into the core values you feel and believe. Journaling has helped me work through the disappointments (such as getting fired at age 50) while also savoring the victories of life.
4. Activity. You can learn from reading and watching, but there's no substitute for actually doing it. You have to actually go to the track or the gym in order to get the benefits of exercise. As the late Jim Rohn once observed, "You can't hire someone else to do your pushups for you." If you've always wanted to sing, maybe this is your year to join the choir. If you've wanted to write, maybe this is your year to start a blog.
5. People. We need others to help hold us accountable and encourage us along the way. Some resolutions should be kept private, told only to your spouse. But we need to share many of our important goals with friends, associates, your life group at Church or mastermind group so that they can give us the feedback and support we'll need down the road.
Remember that personal growth is a struggle. But without the struggle, little growth would occur. As you overcome one obstacle and then another, your confidence grows, which leads to more productivity and progress.
This year, as you set your resolutions, remember to put these five key elements in place to give you the best chance to succeed.