Stick to goals this New Year instead!

Rather than committing to a resolution that starts from the 1st January and is forgotten about by February (well in my case anyway), my suggestion is to focus your efforts on your goals for the New Year.

According to Forbes, only 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions. The reason so many us aren’t successful in making these permanent changes is because they are often vague and unrealistic, which makes them difficult to achieve and our focus ultimately ends up elsewhere. Goals on the other hand, tend to be more successful as they are more specific, focused on a particular achievement and within a specified timeframe.

The best time to set goals is now. You can start by writing a list of what you would like to achieve in the New Year. Be optimistic and dream BIG like a child would. Being aware of yourself, your values, drives, ambitions and sense of direction can make goal setting much easier. Each goal should excite you and provide a sense of achievement, meaning and purpose so you are motivated to see them through. Make sure you understand the “why” and the outcome for each of your goals. And don’t be put off by any fears, challenges or roadblocks that you come up with – they are just unnecessary distractions!

Once you have a list of goals, to increase your chances of success, it is a good idea to ensure that they are SMART:

  • Specific – each should be clearly defined
  • Measurable – there should be quantifiable criteria so you know if you have achieved your goal
  • Achievable – although your goals should include an element of stretch, they must still be attainable
  • Relevant – goals need to be relevant to you, your abilities and skills
  • Timely – ensure your goals have a deadline so you are clear on when you need to achieve them.

And the final step is to take action! Making your progress public has been shown to improve your performance and the likelihood of achieving your goals according to a study published in Psychological Bulletin. And remember to reward yourself when you achieve a goal (my favourite part!).

Setting goals is a good resolution – one actually worth keeping!