Achieving a really BIG New Year’s Resolution in 2016

 In In the headlines

It’s almost the time of year that we stop to reflect on what we’ve achieved in the past and what we would like to achieve in the future. Many of us decide that we would like to improve something, but quietly discard this decision when it becomes too difficult or other aspects of daily life start to take priority. According to Forbes Magazine (Jan 1, 2013) only 8% of people achieve their New Year’s goals. Why do so many of us fail?

Maybe it’s because so many of us toil away in isolation. It may be that we have sown the seeds of our own failure by not sharing our goal with anyone else. Why not involve the whole family in a BIG New Year’s resolution? If everyone is involved, you could something huge like taking the family on an international holiday! But, how do we achieve consensus?

You have to secure everyone’s cooperation by involving them, right from the start, in the decision-making process. Where do we want to go? When? How are we going to save the money? Cooperation and planning is the only way to find areas to economise. Everyone needs to be willing to make the short-term sacrifices to achieve the goal.  Next, when everyone agrees that they’d like to go on that skiing holiday to Japan, you need to agree on how you’re going to make it happen. Having a proven system helps…

Once you have your Plan, the Deming Cycle provides the roadmap to success. This simple approach-Plan, Do, Check, Act– helped Japanese companies rise to world dominance in the 1950s & 60s and it might just help your family achieve your goals in 2016. The first step is Planning. You have to answer all the relevant questions about the holiday and write these down. How much? How long? When? Once you have answered these questions you have a Plan.

The next step is Doing. It is time to put the plan into practice, and you’ll need a budget… Let’s say you need to save $1,500 a month for the next 12 months… where is this going to come from? Your car repayments run out in January, so that’s $900 in the kitty. You all agree to stop eating out, so that saves another $400 a month. Finally, you agree to stay at home this Easter instead of going on that cruise, so that saves the remaining $200 a month.

But, 12 months is a long time. In order to ensure that you are on track you need to Check your progress. If you spent $1,000 on a new bike for your son’s birthday last month how are you going to make it up? That is the last step, Act on any shortfalls in your plan in a timely manner to ensure that you can still go on the dream holiday. You need to make adjustments to the Plan and start the PDCA cycle again.

There will be some challenges along the way, but imagine what your family could achieve if you all worked together. This overseas holiday idea is just an example. Use this framework and achieve whatever goal you want. The first step is discussing it with YOUR FAMILY and deciding what YOU REALLY want. You might surprise yourselves. Give it a try this silly season and let me know how you go…

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