So, it’s a new year. The new year is a natural time for self-evaluation and goal setting. Often, we think in terms of health, fitness, business, professional development, personal relationships, and so forth. It’s also the time of year when many will speak of new year resolutions as though they intend to keep them. Almost all fail. According to a 2015 article by US News and World Reports, 80 percent of all new year resolutions fail by mid-February. Other reports put that failure rate even higher.
People mean well, and most who make resolutions sincerely mean them. I see several reasons people fail with their resolutions.
- They are too vague. If my resolution is to lose weight, I have technically succeeded on January 2 if I lose one pound overnight. Another example is, “I resolve to learn how to paint.” Well, do I mean “paint houses” or “paint artistic sceneries on a canvas”? There’s simply no way to know if you have succeeded, or what you are aiming at. Make sure your goal is specific and clear.
- They are too easy. What’s the point of “challenging” yourself to do something that’s not actually challenging? Don’t set an easy goal, but one that causes you to get out of your comfort zone.
- They are too boring. If you can’t get excited about your resolution, you’re likley not going to achieve it. Set a goal that will bring you a level of excitement when you achieve it.
- They are easily fogotten. You won’t pursue your resolution if it’s not before you all the time.
Write Goals With Force
A number of smart people have developed acronyms for writing good goals that help achieve meaningful ends. As a Full Focus Planner Professional, I use and teach Michael Hyatt’s S.M.A.R.T.E.R. Goals framework for writing annual goals. A SMARTER goal is one that is
- Specific – Very specific.
- Measurable – You can see your progress and measure it.
- Actionable – Start with a good action verb.
- Risky – Plan to get out of your comfort zone.
- Time-based – Set milestones and/or a deadline.
- Exciting – The essence of your goal should motivate you.
- Relevant – Life comes and goes in stages. Your goal should be relevant to your stage of life.
Example of a good SMARTER Goal: Write the first draft of our policy and procedure manual and present it to the president of the company by January 31.
Write down your goals and review them regularly and frequently. Limit yourself to eight to ten per year. Include two or three personal goals, too. Share them with a trusted friend or coworker who will keep you accountable to yourself.
Start writing your goals! If you need help developing and writing goals that are meaningful and actually achieving them, I can help you with that. contact me today.