It’s the time of year when many people resolve to make small and large changes to their lives by setting New Year’s Resolutions. But how many of us start the new year with fantastic enthusiasm for acheiving our new goals, only to fall off track weeks or even days later? Lots and lots of us, apparently! According to research by Opinion Research Corp, about 45% of Americans set New Year’s Resolutions (that’s about 150 million people!). But, only 8% typically acheive their resolutions. Even worse, 25% have failed on every resolution every year. How sad! Let’s be a part of the 8% that are making positive changes in their lives.
There are three basic principles to goal setting that will increase the likelihood that you’ll actually acheive your New Year’s Resolutions. I’ve gleaned these from the writings of various productivity experts, including David Allen’s Getting Things Done. These principles might seem simplistic, but I’ve seen from personal experience that following them really does work:
- Set concrete goals- “I resolve to eat a fresh fruit or vegetable with every breakfast and lunch,” not “I resolve to eat healthier.” Need ideas for goals to set? Check out this post for inspiration.
- Break goals down into manageable steps- One of my goals is to be able to touch my toes when I stretch- to acheive that, I plan to stretch my hamstrings for 5 minutes every night before bed.
- Review your goals regularly- it’s easy to forget you even set a goal in the first place! I review my goals every week, to give myself a boost of determination for the week ahead.
Will you set New Year’s Resolutions this year?