Are you SMART about resolutions?

It’s that time of year again. Resolution time. The time of year when we set lofty goals about how this year will be different than the last. However, stats show that by the end of this week most of us will have already broken one, if not all, of our resolutions.

FACT: 25% of New Year’s resolutions are broken in the first week alone. Within 6 months, more than half of us will have given up completely.

University of Scranton research suggests that only 8% of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions. That means that 92% of people fail!  Why? Because our resolutions often involve doing something new, which means committing time to doing that something new – and we’re already busy.

So instead of making resolutions that you really have no intention of following through on, why not be SMART and set some goals instead? Smart goals are Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Timely.

The big take away here is Realistic. More often than not resolutions are quite lofty, like losing 25 pounds, hitting the gym every day or even learning a new language before you take off on vacation in February. Yeah it’d be nice, but if it’s not sustainable then you’re destined to be part of that 92%.

Here’s what I’m doing this year and I challenge you to do the same: Make a list of all your pie in the sky lofty ‘someday goals’. For me it’s someday I’ll write that book.  Some day I’ll play the violin (well).  Someday I’ll learn Spanish. Some day I’ll travel to Peru. Some day I’ll learn to knit stuff other than a scarf.

Go ahead and make your list. Then pick one or two things that you can realistically commit to making happen this year. Be specific as you can in defining your goal, then define what success will look like. From there map out the steps you’ll need to take to achieve that success and the amount of time it will take. Don’t know what steps you need to take to make a goal happen? Put it back on your someday list until you do. By being SMART about our goals we’ll be part of the 8% in no time!


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