We look back on the previous year and consider how we could have lived it differently. The person inside us knows we could accomplish more if we would just escape our comfort zone and push ourselves. We feel the need to line up our ducks.
Most resolutions have to do with some sort of self-improvement, i.e. lose weight/get fit, quit smoking, eat better, drink less, read more, get out of debt, etc. etc. etc
The problem is sticking to rezəˈlo͞oSHəns!
According to Forbes.com, only about 8% of us actually achieve what we said we’d do.*
How can you avoid being part of the other 92%?
I prefer to use the word “GOALS” as opposed to “RESOLUTIONS.”
And not any goals will do. You have to set SMART GOALS!
SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.
For example, you can resolve to lose weight. But how will you DO IT?
Specific: I want to lose 20 pounds (8 kilos) by May 1st.
Measurable: My goal is 4 months away, so I need to lose 5 pound a month or a bit over 1 pound per week. How? I will east no more than 1 fast food meal per week, will walk 20 minutes every weekday, and will have no more than 1 serving of alcohol per day.
Attainable: I know I will have to plan my meals and take my lunch, but I can do this. Because it’s dark early in the morning, I will walk on my lunch break.
Realistic: This is a realistic goal. Losing 20 pounds in 1 week is not. I can achieve my goal by doing the things listed above.
Timely: I will lose 20 pounds by May 1st.
Working through a process like this spells out the goal in a specific way, a lot more effective than saying, I wish I were skinny or I want to lose look better.
What are some SMART GOALS you can make? Here are some ideas?
Quit smoking. How about 14 cigarettes a day this week instead of 15. Next week cut yourself to 13 per day, etc.
Get organized. Today I will sort through the stack of papers on my desk. Next Saturday I will file receipts. I will sort and delete unread emails by January 20th.
Then there are character issues. You want to be a better person? Want to be more kind to your spouse? Want to become less self-centered?
What can you do to achieve these? Read books? Take more time for self-reflection? Spend more time on your knees? Focus on others by volunteering? Get a counselor or life coach? OK, then work through the SMART ways to do those things.
Wanting to is not the whole formula, but it’s the place to start. Just don’t stop there.
Success is attainable when we set are SMART.
For part 2 of this topic, click here.