How to make (and keep) your New Year’s resolutions.
Each December, millions of people around the world make New Year resolutions, confident in the fact that their lives are going to change for the better in the coming year. Come February, however, more than 80% of resolutions will be broken. Why are resolutions so hard to keep and how can you make them stick?
Resolution vs goal
Perhaps the main reason resolutions fail is that they’re too ambitious and ambiguous, rather than a clear goal to set and work towards. Reframing resolutions as attainable goals, rather than big-picture statements, will help identify what you need to do to achieve your goal. For example,
- News Year’s resolution: “I will save money.”
- New Year’s goal: “I will have $10,000 in savings.”
Make it SMART
Once you’ve decided on a broad goal, it’s time to make your goal SMART. The Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely (SMART) goal methodology is used to define what a goal will achieve, who’s responsible and what steps are needed to get there.
- Specific: What am I going to do?
- Measurable: What does success look like?
- Attainable: Is it realistic and achievable?
- Realistic: Do you have the resources or willpower necessary to reach the goal?
- Time-bound: When will the goal be achieved?
SMART New Year goals
Here are some examples of SMART New Year goals:
- Losing weight: “I will lose 5kg by my wedding anniversary on 30 September. I will do this by doing two classes at the gym each week and reducing my daily calorie intake by 400 calories. I will tell my wife, friends and colleagues about my goal so they can support me.”
- Saving money: “I will save $5000 by 31 December 2019. I will do this by setting up a direct debit to automatically transfer $100 each week in to a high-interest savings account.”
- Learning a language: “I will be able to order food in a restaurant in Italian by my trip to Italy in April. I will do this by downloading a language app and completing a five-minute module each day.”
Get back on track
Sometimes life gets in the way and, for one reason or another, you’re not able to stick to the SMART plan you’ve made to achieve your goals. That’s ok, just pick up where you left off and keep going – you’re already in a better position than what you were at the beginning of the year.