Better late than never (and just under the wire for you New Years Eve Resolutioners), we’re talking about goals!
I think that, despite my propensity to believe otherwise in the past, New Years resolutions or the diet that “starts Monday” aren’t the way we set ourselves up for success. Real change has to be a total attitude adjustment, that comes from a place of true motivation. It can’t happen simply because we turn a calendar page.
- [spp-tweet “1 in 4 people abandon their New Years resolution in the first week”]
- More than 60% abandon resolutions within the first six months – a majority
- The average person makes the same resolution 10 different times without success
There is a good reason for resolutions – we want to grow. Many people can actually give beautiful “whys” – reasons behind why you are setting particular goals. This kind of motivation is a step in the right direction that many people miss. But is it enough?
First things first….
WRITE YOUR GOALS DOWN.
[spp-tweet “Studies show we are 42% more likely to succeed at something when we write it down.”]
Writing your goals on paper (or, you know, typing them in Evernote or something) forces us to actually figure out what they are – it brings clarity.
It also brings intention. When faced with decisions going forward, we can remember our goals and determine which path will allow us to go in the direction of our goals and not away from them.
MAKE S.M.A.R.T. GOALS
Specific: Goals that answer those “Who”, “What”, “When”, “Where and “Why questions. “Being healthier”, “spending more time with family”, etc might be great goals – but they’re difficult to keep when they are so vague.
Measurable: A goal has to be measurable so that you know when you have achieved it! “Losing weight” is not something you can measure like “lose 10 pounds”. “Spend more time with my spouse” is not something at which you can look back next year and see, at least not very easily, if you have succeeded. “Go on x dates a month with my spouse” is something you can measure.
Achievable/Attainable: You want your goals to be just out of reach – to produce just enough fear and excitement – that you have motivation to continue them. Not so hard that they are overwhelming and you give up, but not so easy that you accomplish them quickly and stop there.
Relevant: Is this the right time for this goal? Am I the right person for the task? Is it worthwhile? I may choose to learn Italian, but for me in 2015, this is not something that provides any merit – it isn’t worthwhile. [spp-tweet “I may need to say “no” to something good in order to say “yes” to something better.”]
Time-bound: Due dates provide a practical sense of urgency. [spp-tweet “”Someday” isn’t a day on the calendar (Jon Acuff)”].
SHOULD WE SHARE OUR GOALS?
There has been buzz over a TED talk from Derek Sivers about keeping your goals to yourself. In the resources below you’ll find the talk as well as a fascinating article that talks about the studies Sivers references and the risks/benefits of sharing (or not sharing) your goals. My $0.02?
Buying running shows or showing before/after pictures on social media for congratulations may have an adverse effect. Announcing to the world that you are starting a book may make you feel one step closer to being published, but you really aren’t any closer.
But sharing SMART goals with your core group that can encourage you and hold you accountable? I think that’s a wise choice.
WHERE DO WE START?
For me, I need to start by writing my goals down. I’m not sure I have, at least not in recent history.
Think or pray about what few things you should hone in on – not 50 goals, not everything needs to be a SMART goal with a plan :)…
… then take the first step.
New Years Resolutions | Goal Setting | Productivity | Self-Improvement | Growth | Goals
Connect with Jennifer: