New Year’s Resolutions – Why Do We Fail?
Welcome, February! This is a good time to take stock of how you’ve done in month 1 of all the things you resolved to do in 2016.
This is a good time for honest admissions. Our intentions are good but our approach is….ALL….WRONG. We are terrible at keeping and meeting our resolutions. According to ‘Statistic Brain,’ http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/ only 8% of people are successful in achieving their resolutions by year-end and around half of people stick with them through June.
First. Don’t allow this post to keep you out of the gym over the next few weeks!
Let’s take a few tips from the business world and find a way to improve at setting AND reaching our personal goals. “SMART,” otherwise known as “Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-Based,” is commonly used in strategic planning. And it works.
Example: Let’s say that Company X is closing out 2015 with $850,000 in revenue and has strong leads on a handful of $200,000 contracts for 2016. So, a SMART goal for 2016 might be: Company X will grow revenue to $1 million in the next 12 months. Specific? Check. Measurable? Check. Attainable? Check. Realistic? Check. Time-Based? Check.
In contrast, we set our personal goals based more on ideals rather than objectives. It is no surprise that “Lose Weight” is always leading the pack of new year’s resolutions. However, it is followed by lofty and essentially vague goals like “Get More Organized, Stay Healthy, and Travel More.” Do these ideals meet the SMART model?
Listen. Before you curl up and imagine all your hopes and dreams bursting into flames, bear this in mind: People who make resolutions are 10 times more likely to reach their goals than people who don’t make ANY new year’s resolutions. Rejoice!
LOSE WEIGHT. Toss these two words into the SMART wash and you’ll have something like this: I will lose 8 pounds in the first 15 weeks of 2016 by cutting out [insert nemesis food and/or drink here] at least 5 days a week. Specific? Check: the goal is not even a tad vague. Measurable? Check: lots of numbers here make it so. Attainable? Check: because there’s no hint of quick and magical skinniness. Realistic? Check: only one target food item is eliminated and not even all the time. Time-Based? Check: you’ve set a 15-week deadline.
GET MORE ORGANIZED. Out of the SMART wash comes: I will clean out 1 [closet/cabinet/chest of drawers] in the house each month in 2016 to get rid of trash, to donate items, and to find what I’ve been missing. Specific? Check. Measurable? Check. Attainable? Check. Realistic? Check. Time-Based? Check.
FALL IN LOVE. This one is a doozey but clearly illustrates the point about our goals being linked to ideals. The SMART wash-tastic reveals: I will go on at least 3 blind dates next year even when I don’t really want to. Or, you can elect the alternate ‘love’ resolution like I did in 2015….I will adopt an adorable rescued puppy and she will be 100% elated every time she sees me. Fell in love? Check. Goal Achieved.
Best of luck to all of you in 2016!