Have you yet failed on your last New Year’s resolutions? Seriously, a resolution should be a year round thing. It should entail a lifestyle change for the better. Yet many people fail on their new resolutions by February. When the warm month of May rolls around the majority of those who made it through February have also failed. When October rears it’s head and the air begins to chill again, people are looking toward the coming Holiday season and most would be hard pressed to even remember what their New Year’s resolution was.
The reason that people fail is simple. They do not understand the mechanics of goal setting. They do not understand the steps of goal setting. Without the following five essential goal setting techniques failure is not only possible it is almost gaurenteed.
To avoid being a failure on your New Year’s resolutions, or any goal at all, you must understand the following 5 goal setting tips.
Make Goals Attainable
A goal should not be a flight of fancy; it should be attainable. “I will lose 100 pounds in the next 3 months” or “I will make a million dollars on small business this year” are not attainable (assuming you had made only 5-10K the previous year. Trying for these, “flights of fancy” will simply set up for disappointment and failure. Yet having a goal like, “I will lose 5 pounds each month for the next 12 months” or “I will make 30K a year” (assuming the same 5-10K previous year) , while difficult, are achievable with maximum effort.
One Goal at a Time
Setting more than one goal or resolution to be done at the same time is a very bad idea. You need to be able to concentrate and just worry about one thing. If you are trying to diet at the same time you are trying to set up an exercise routine you are simply piling on too much stress. When you exercise you will want to smoke when you are done and fell anxious if you cannot. Changing two habits at the same time just makes each one infinitely harder and less likely to be accomplished.
You can achieve both goals, simply do them in “series” rather than in parallel. A habit takes 20-30 days to form. Set up your plan for achieving both goals so you start on the next goal 30 days after you started on the previous one. That way you can have the first goal be a bit of a habit before starting on the second.
Write it Down
A goal that is not written down is not a goal. It is a dream. Dreams only come true in fantasy-land. If you want to achieve your goal you must write it down and create actionable steps on how you plan to achieve it. Until that point do not consider it a goal, it is simply a desire or dream and is unlikely to happen
Don’t Tell Others the Goal
Many people will tell you to let everyone know about your goal. The idea is that these other people will, “hold your feet to the fire,” and thereby help to keep you from backsliding. This theory is wrong. What happens is this, when you tell people about your goal a small part of the subconscious believes that you have already accomplished it. You get the positive feelings that it is done. Do this enough and you start to feel that the task is done or at least easily within your grasp. At this time backsliding begins to occur and ultimately: failure.
There are people you should tell your goals to, but it should be on a “need to know” basis. Your spouse should know for instance. Specifically if you are doing something like trying to lose weight, where the things they cook for you could have an impact. Your doctor if you are doing anything that could jeopardize your health or if it something like stopping smoking that he can proscribe the “patch” for. Basically only tell people who can give you something in return in the way of substantial assistance.
Forgive Minor Lapses
Mistakes happen. Most people who succeed in achieving their resolutions backslide at one time or another during the process. The important thing is accept that a mistake was made, try not to do it again and move on. Some people can be too hard on themselves over one lapse, that they end up failing entirely.