As the New Year approaches, we often start thinking about what resolutions we want to tackle and what goals we hope to accomplish. However, year after year the vast majority of us have either given up or forgotten about our goals by February. Only about 8% of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions. Resolutions are suppose to be a positive experience, the idea of New
Years resolutions is to help us achieve something and to better ourselves – not to make us feel like a failure.
This year, instead of being just another statistic, challenge yourself to set realistic goals with a plan of action in place. But why wait until January 1st to start something that you want to achieve? If you are feeling inspired, start now, always! Plus, starting now can give you an excellent head start on your goals and allow New Years to be a revaluation point on your progress. It takes 21 days to form a new habit, why not already be well on your way?
A study from Virginia Tech University found that people who regularly write down their goals earn nine times more over their lifetime than people who didn’t. The lesson – writing down goals means you are more likely to achieve them. When you have your goal in mind, remember to phrase it in a way that is achievable. For example, “get healthy” is not a measurable and obtainable goal. Perhaps your goal is to run a marathon, lower your cholesterol, etc – whatever you choose, ensure it is measurable. Once you have your specific, measurable, and obtainable goal in mind, figure out a tracking system, take it one step at a time, find yourself an accountability partner, and reward yourself.
If you want to run a marathon, create a training schedule and track your progress. If you want to read more, create a list of books and dates at which you will finish each one. If you have a big hairy audacious goal in mind (which I am all for), break it up into smaller goals and don’t forget to reward yourself along the way. One excellent way to keep yourself on track is to create accountability. Whether this is joining a book club, sharing your food journal with a friend, or having your children make you put money in “swear jar” – find something to help keep you accountable.
Throughout the process, don’t stop celebrating your efforts. We all have bumps in the road and the most powerful and important thing you can do is to not let one setback define your journey. A new day can start right now.
By: Kelly Walsh
Kelly Walsh, M.Ed, ACC is the president of 1 Smart Life. Over the past 18 years, Kelly has successfully coached business leaders and people from all walks of life to reach their highest potential. With a Master’s in counseling, professional coach and mediation certifications, and 20 years of Human Resources experience, she has successfully helped others define their dreams and create pathways to success. She is the creator and owner of 1 Smart Life, LLC a new style of personal coaching with a team of experts in all of life’s challenging areas.