I feel like the term “New Year’s Resolution” has a negative connotation and for good reason. I recently read that only 8% of people that set resolutions are actually successful. 8%!?! That is not a lot! I think that’s discouraging in itself, but I think if you step back and really consider why that is the case, it’s not surprising at all.
I have set New Year’s resolutions just about every year since I have been an adult. I’ve set realistic goals that I have achieved, I’ve set outrageous goals that I never achieved, and I’ve set goals that I should have achieved but did not. Why? Well, I think a huge part of setting resolutions is not just in the ACT of setting them. It is vital that you set a plan of action. Goals can’t be achieved if there’s not a “how” tied to them.
So that’s why I’m doing my resolutions a little differently this year. I’m going to set goals just like I always do, but this year those goals will be tied to a plan of action. Goals need to be realistic. It is ok to set goals that are slightly out of your reach. You know, the kind that make you uncomfortable because you doubt they are possible but they also make you a little giddy, because, well, what if it happens?!? I believe that if you are setting your goals appropriately you will reach at least half of them, but not 100% of them. I’m a crazy perfectionist so I must admit how frustrating it is for me to not reach a goal I set. This also makes me work harder towards them.
I think New Year’s resolutions need to be both short-term and long-term goals. Some of my goals this year will be goals for the month of January, some will be 3 month goals, others 6 month goals, and a few 1 year or more goals. I think it is important to have this range of time in setting goals because it keeps you more focused on your long-term goals. As you reach your short-term goals, you will be more motivated and more likely to continue pushing forward to your next goal!
Most of all, don’t give up and don’t be discouraged with the goals you don’t hit. Instead, reflect on WHY you didn’t hit those goals, what you can change going forward to achieve them, and then move on! Dwelling on what we view as a “fail” will not help us move forward. Focus on the parts you did do well on and make the changes needed.
Finally, share your goals with someone! Having accountability with your goals makes a world of difference. I will be posting my personal goals soon. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on resolutions!