When it comes time to choose a New Year’s resolution, most people have no problem setting goals – but so many never achieve them. It’s shown that by the second week of February, around 80% of resolutions fail. And by the end of the year, only about 8% of people have actually kept their resolutions.
Some top reasons we never achieve our resolutions are that we aren’t passionate enough about our goal, it’s not specific or measurable, we have no plan to execute it, and/or no one is holding us accountable. If you want to be part of the top 8% who achieve your goals in 2020, follow these best practices on how to set a goal you can achieve!
Top New Year’s Resolutions:
- Lose Weight
- Exercise More
- Save Money
- Eat Healthier
- Reduce Stress
The best way to reach any resolution is to ensure that first you have a SMART goal. A SMART goal is:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Relevant
T – Time-bound
Based on these criteria, here is an example of a goal that is a SMART goal: I will lose 20 lbs. between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020.
This goal is specific, as we have listed an amount of weight. It is measurable both by the amount of weight as well as setting a deadline. Attainable is really determined by the individual, but 20 lbs. in one year doesn’t sound excessive. Relevant comes in terms of “is this goal relevant to the direction you are going either your life or career?” In this case, as we are bettering ourselves, our goal is relevant. Time-bound is one of the easiest to assess, as we want to hit our goal by the end of the year.
Having a goal that is SMART isn’t all you need to do to achieve your resolution. Here are some key tips that will help you succeed:
- Choose a goal that you find motivating: If you’re not motivated by passion, chances are you will end up in the 80% who don’t get there by the end of the year.
- Set your goals in writing and tell people about them: Write down the goal in your own words on paper and put it somewhere you see it daily. Also, share your goals with your spouse, a close friend or a colleague and encourage them to check in on your progress. Chances are you will strive more to ensure you obtain the goal when you would have to tell someone if you failed or gave up.
- Make an action plan: Set the steps for exactly how you are going to reach your goals, by day, by week, or maybe even using a day planner. By ensuring you schedule in the tasks you need to achieve your goals, you will be more likely to attain it. You may have to reverse-engineer your goal to see exactly how you can achieve it. An example of reverse-engineering a goal it that in order to lose 20 lbs. over the course of the year, you may break it down to 0.5 lbs. per week.
How many days a week will you be going to go to the gym? Will you change your diet to help loose the 20 lbs.? Are there specific home workouts you will start to do, and on what days of the week, at what time? Do you need to do cardio or weights?
If you want to beat the statistics and be in the top achieving 8% who reach their goals for 2020, don’t forget to create an action plan to attain your SMART goal – and tell your friends about it!