It’s almost January 1, and we know that means millions of people are about to resolve to make changes to their lives in the new year.
Data has shown that approximately 80% of resolutions fail by the second week of February. So, if you’re going to keep your New Year’s Resolution, you’ve got your work cut out for you. Take a moment and read our five tips to help you make smarter, more effective New Year's Resolutions.
Make Sure Your Goal Setting is SMART
You’ve likely heard of a SMART Goal. But we’ll refresh you on what it exactly means.
Specific – What is your goal? Is it specific enough or is it too broad? The more specific you are in what you want to achieve, the more you’ll understand it, and will be better enabled to plan your success.
Measurable – How can you measure your progress? How will you know if you’re on track? Breaking your goal down into measurable elements will help you in your journey to accomplishing your goal.
Attainable – Is it in your power to actually complete this goal? Do you have the time/energy/finances necessary to put forth to achieve the goal?
Relevant – Is it worthwhile? Will it meet your needs?
Timely – What’s your time frame for reaching your goal? We know deadlines are what make people switch into action, so install a deadline for yourself.
If you filter your goal through each of these factors, then your goal is SMART, and you should continue pursuing it.
Create a Plan to Achieve Your Goal, and Write It Down
Research shows that writing down your goal has a powerful impact on you actually achieving it. Writing it out will clarify the goal, and solidify the necessary steps and measurements.
If you would like to learn more about the science of writing things down and how it actually helps you succeed more when it comes to planning and goal setting, click here.
Keep Track of Your Progress and Make Adjustments, If Needed
To stay motivated and keep track of your progress, make a point to sit down and evaluate your progress on a regular basis. If you need to make some adjustments, then make those adjustments. Find a time that works well for you, and be committed to it. Analysis is part of the path to success.
Celebrate Your Wins!
Did you go to the gym instead of watching TV after work? Bring your lunch to work instead of eating out? When you stay true to your plan, allow yourself to celebrate and be proud of those small successes. After all, success is a series of smaller wins.
Remember Why You Started
Last but not least, post a reminder around that will help you recall why you started. For example, if your goal is to save money for a house, try putting up a photo of your dream house somewhere where you will see it often. Then, when you’re tempted to spend money on something you don’t need or that isn’t accounted for in your plan, see the reminder and remember what you’re saving for.
When the going gets tough, remembering why you wanted to achieve the goal in the first place will help you push through.
We would love to hear what some of our YMPA members are striving for in 2018. Share your goals in the comments below!