Each year we reflect personally and professionally on what we accomplished in the past year.
We evaluate and decide what our new goals will be for 2022 and may even start thinking about a New Year’s resolution.
For some of us, we use the season of new beginnings as an opportunity to enact change.
Like millions of Americans, we are just trying to figure out how to keep those resolutions.
Why is it that with such good intentions, setting goals such as weight loss or improving our lives seems so elusive?
We will admit that some years we have great intentions but end up making half-hearted resolutions that evaporate quickly once the new year begins.
In fact, according to U.S.News, 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail.1.
The good news is that these results DO NOT have to be yours.
In fact, a recent survey by Finder found that more than 55% of U.S. adults think they’ll follow through on their resolutions this year.2.
The difference between good intentions and failed intentions comes down to one thing: the recognition that self-change is one of the most difficult things we can do.3. Change is not impossible, but it is less likely that you will succeed without changing your mindset and developing a plan.
Let’s get started.
We must make our intentions manageable by detailing the specific steps to help us reach our goals.
STEP 1. Start by writing down your goals and reviewing them periodically
Resolutions that aren’t written down are destined to fail quickly. Write out your goals and keep them in a place where you will see them regularly. This way you can review your progress and recommit if needed.
STEP 2. Set goals that are realistic and attainable
Your goals should be S.M.A.R.T. which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
- Specific: Goals should be written in the most simplistic manner possible, honing in on one specific outcome. Without this core principle, you might find it hard to focus and, in the end, feel unmotivated.4.
- Measurable: Goals need to be measurable in such a way that tangible evidence can be presented along the way. This can be as simple as setting a specific date for your achievement.4.
- Achievable: Goals should be designed like a good workout. They should stretch you slightly, so you feel challenged, but not cause stress or injury.4.
- Relevant: It’s important to examine your goal. Make sure it’s relevant and realistic.4.
- Time-bound: Goals should be linked to a timeframe that creates a practical sense of urgency, creating a healthy tension that will propel you forward.4.
STEP 3. Take a deep breath
If you find yourself doubting or feeling anxious, step back and look at the situation and how you’re responding, in that moment of awareness you have already begun the change that you wanted to make.
STEP 4. Celebrate your successes, no matter how big or how small.
You’ll be much more inclined to set resolutions in the upcoming years if you can remember the excitement of accomplishing your goals this year.
This may look like a lot to do on your already full plate, but you have already accomplished so much by getting to where you are.