If you make new year’s resolutions, you’re more likely to fail in achieving them. The Guardian quoted a study saying that making resolutions is a near pointless exercise and that less than a quarter of people surveyed managed to stick to their resolutions. Wikipedia says it’s even worse! According to Wikipedia, only 12% achieved their goals. So what’s the solution? Don’t do it!
Yes I did. I said it. Don’t make a new years resolution.
But when I say don’t do it, I don’t mean don’t set goals, ever. I mean, don’t do it just for the new year, and certainly don’t categorise it as a new year’s resolution.
Why? Simply because doing so makes it loose its accountability factor. You see, whether we admit it or not, a major factor that pushes us to achieving our goals is accountability. That is especially true when we’ve publicised our goals. When we’ve announced to the world that we’re going to lose weight/quit smoking/quit drinking/get a raise/travel more etc. we’re under more pressure to achieve it.
But in a new year’s resolution this has a reverse effect. Because if more than three quarters of the population fail to achieve their goals, then it’s OK for us to fail too. After all, we think to ourselves, everyone else is doing it!
OK enough talk about failure. I don’t like this word. Let’s talk about how to make things happen!
To Your Success
The first step to achieving your goal is actually having one. Simplez – as Alexander the Meerkat would say. But not any goal. It’s critical to create SMARTER goals. And here’s what SMARTER means:
S- Specific – What is it exactly that you want to achieve? E.g. stop drinking
M- Measurable – What are the way points to achieving it? E.g. drink 50ml less wine every two days
A- Attainable – Is it realistic? Yes/No
R- Relevant – Is it results oriented and positive? E.g. the goal is to stop drinking NOT not going to work drunk. And here is why it needs to be stated in the postive.
T- Timely – When will you achieve it? E.g. by the end of March 2010
E- Evaluate – Is it good for you, the people around you and the environment? Yes/No
R- Re-evaluate – How will you know you’re on the right track? And how will you reward yourself as you progress? E.g. when I quit drinking, I’m going to celebrate by having champagne (just kidding)
Put together, this will look something like this: It’s Monday the 29th of March 2010. I’m on my way to work and I’m totally sober! I have been cutting down on drinks and I haven’t had one for two weeks. Now this sounds much more achievable than writing down: My goal is to stop drinking. And that’s only the first step!
OK, if you insist. Here are some more tips to keep you on track.
1- Get an accountabillabuddy. That’s South Park speak for a buddy that will hold you accountable to achieving your goals.
2- Publicise it. That’s been mentioned earlier. Finally a good use for the Facebook Status Update.
3- Check it fulfils your values. This is extremely important. There is a post about why here.
4- Take you time to set it up. It’s OK to take an hour to plan ahead your month or even your week. When you achieve your goals, you would’ve saved an entire week. Instead of having wasted an entire week not achieving anything because you didn’t want to spend an hour planning.
Well, that’s it for now. Do share some of your goals with us in the comment box below.
Until next time, wishing you all the best for 2010
Copyright (c) 2009 www.TarekCoaching.com – Life coach London, London life coach, RESULTS Coach, Performance Consultant, Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)