New Year's resolutions and making lists

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A close up of Richard Branson smiling, looking at the camera
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Published on 1 January 2020

It’s time to make New Year’s Resolutions. It’s a nice way to set goals for the coming year and to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.

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Many people don’t make resolutions because they feel like they’ve failed if they don’t stick to it. I think it’s always better to be aiming for something, than nothing at all. Even if you only get one step closer, it’s still a step in the right direction.

My tip for sticking to resolutions and goals is quite simple: write it down.

Richard Branson writing notes on a Virgin Atlantic flight
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Ever since I was a young boy I have made lists of goals and resolutions. It’s how I make sense of the ideas in my head, the suggestions I receive, and the progress we are making. What’s more, if I didn’t write down all of my ideas and resolutions, I might forget them!

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Here are five simple steps for making a list that you will be able to stick to:

  1. Write down every single idea you have. No idea is too small, and no idea is too big either. On a notebook, on your phone or on a napkin – it doesn’t matter where, it just matters that you do it.

  2. Have a few lists. One of far off, outlandish goals and another of manageable tasks to complete every day. This way you can set your vision and be taking steps to get there each day. Make sure you have personal goals as well as business goals. There’s no real separation between work and life, it’s all just living. The same goes for lists.

  3. Mark off every completed task. There are few more satisfying things than ticking off a job well done. Celebrate your successes (and make more lists of new goals).

  4. Make your goals measurable so you know if your plans are working. There’s no point setting targets if you don’t know if you are hitting them.

  5. Share your goals with others. You can help motivate each other further and hold each other to account. But remember that, in the end, you are doing this for yourself.

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Image from Take Aim Photography

My New Year’s Resolution this year is to put my health first. You only get one body so it’s important to look after it. I’m going to make sure I’m getting enough rest, staying fit and healthy and eating well.