New Year's Resolutions. Those things you write up and vow are going to be different this year. Lose weight. Make more time for friends. Get a makeover. Get a new job. Find a partner. Dedicate more time and effort to learning newfangled technology. Even with the best laid plans, life gets in the way and within a few weeks in January, you're back to your normal routine and your New Year's Resolutions are a distant memory.
As you enter 2012, there are new, better ways of making your New Year's Resolutions stick. By organizing a small New Year's Resolutions group (online or in the real world), you'll have dramatically more fun and see more success with your goals heading into 2012. Facebook, Twitter, and, new services like Mightybell, are set up to introduce you and your friends to new people who share your same goals and take on projects together.
How it works
Choose Only a Few Important Resolutions
The first obvious step for a New Year's Resolution group is coming up with your New Year's Resolutions. It's better to have a few that you can really visualize and create a plan around rather than a long list of generic one liners that are easy to blow off.
Start With People, Not Plans
Once you have your short but compelling list of New Year's Resolutions that you can visualize making a reality, it's time for the New Year's Resolution group. Rather than come up with a detailed plan about all the things you're going start doing differently on January 2nd, start first with the people you want on your team supporting you and with whom you are excited to support.
Make a list of five to eight of your closest friends in your neighborhood or to whom you are connected to online. You guys don't have to have the same goals for your new year. The point is that you care enough about each other to support the goals that each of you have. That's right, skip the detailed plan where you become superhuman and instead focus on finding the people with whom you want to share your New Year's Resolutions first. Don't have five to eight obvious friends to do this with? No worries. You have other options. You can also use Twitter, Facebook, or Mightybell to rally a group to do this project together. By taking this new and distinctly unconventional path, you may end up meeting and making some amazing new friends who share your same interests, passions, and goals that you wouldn't meet otherwise.
A Simple Proposal
Once you have five to eight people in mind, reach out to them with a simple proposal: "will you help me with my handful of New Year's Resolutions and I'll help you with yours? Even better, do you want to join a small group I'm putting together for the next three months to make our New Year's Resolutions happen together?"
With a New Year's Resolution group, everyone shares their resolutions and each person in the group figures out one way to support each person with their goal. Ideally, the person with the resolution can offer what they think are going to be their biggest challenge and asks for specific help. The more specific the help, the more likely the crew can help you achieve your goals.
A Great Excuse to Get Together
Now with your group in place, set up weekly get togethers or check-ins, either at someone's house (my preference) or a Google Hangout at a specified time. If you haven't used Google Hangouts, you are missing out. They are amazing and just like being together live. I use them everyday. Join Google+ and look for hangouts on the right hand side of the page.
Is meeting weekly make sense when everyone is so busy? This is the beauty of organizing your social schedule around a New Year's Resolution group: everyone has a motivation to meet. It's easier to meet up and talk than it is to do just about anything else, especially when it is set up for you to help other people as much as helping yourself. If you don't want to come for yourself, you'll have five to eight other reasons to engage on your New Year's Resolutions.
Get Started Now
January 1, 2012 is just around the corner. Get started today!
Gina Bianchini is the founder and CEO of Mightybell, a new creative platform for doing projects together with friends around your interests, passions, and goals. A serial Internet entrepreneur, Gina has been featured on Fortune Magazine's "40 under 40," Huffington Post's 10 technology "Ultimate Game Changers," and in Fast Company, Wired, Bloomberg Businessweek and the New York Times.