New Year’s Day is the day many people – 40-45% of Americans according to the last research I read – set New Year’s Resolutions. While some people do succeed with Resolutions, too many people don’t – which frustrates them and sets up a cynical view of goal setting overall. (Even though, as you will see by the end of this post, that a resolution and a goal aren’t the same thing!)
This morning I found a list of the top ten resolutions people will set this year on Squidoo. I don’t know how scientific the list is, but I’m guessing it is pretty accurate – and even if it isn’t perfect, I’m guessing all of us can identify with (and maybe stated) one of the items on this list.
- Stop smoking.
- Get fit.
- Lose weight.
- Enjoy life more.
- Quit drinking.
- Get organized.
- Learn something new.
- Get out of debt.
- Spend more time with the family.
- Help others.
While there is nothing wrong with the sentiments on this list, you can easily see why so many people fail to reach these resolutions. They aren’t targets or goals, and it would be hard to see progress or results with any of them. Becasse of that people attempt to “reach” them by discipline, willpower, and a positive attitude.
I’m a fan of attitude, willpower and discipline, but they aren’t going to be very successful for most of us by themselves.
Which is why resolutions don’t work so well for most of us.
So let’s take those top ten resolutions and convert them into goals….
- Stop smoking becomes Beginning February 15 I am a happy non smoker.
- Get fit becomes I enjoy exercising for 30 minutes 4 times per week.
- Lose weight becomes On March 1 I weigh XXX.
- Enjoy life more becomes I am happy as I enjoy doing XXX once per week.
- Quit drinking becomes I enjoy orange juice (or insert your choice) when I used to have alcohol.
- Get organized becomes I enjoy being able to find things when I need them.
- Learn something new becomes I create new Clients online everyday. (if that is what you want to learn!)
- Get out of debt becomes On August 31, excepting our mortgage, we are debt free.
- Spend more time with the family becomes. I enjoy weekly planned fun evenings with my family.
- Help others becomes I volunteer for XXX once per month.
These are meant to be examples, and won’t likely become your specific goals, but you can notice some goal setting truths in my examples. The statements are specific, time bound and written in present tense. I’ve provided a variety of types of goal statements, but they all follow these guidelines.
Take these examples and use them to to help you take your resolutions and turn them into goals. Yesterday I recorded some videos – one about the myths of New Year’s Resolutions, and one about keeping your New Year’s Resolutions. If you take these videos and this post, you have a good start towards creating a future you truly desire.
For more information on goal setting and goal achievement, I’ve created over 25 videos like these – and you can get all of them in one convenient place to watch as often as you want for free!