I believe the reason why resolutions just don’t work is simply the general nature of them. Sure, we all want to be in better shape or be better people, but these willy-nilly resolutions aren’t strong enough for us to continue fighting, yet every year we make these blanket resolutions and fail. There must be a better way.
A few years ago, I gave up on making resolutions. They don’t work, and when I fail I feel worse than I did before the resolutions started. Now, instead of making resolutions, I make goals. There is a commonly used acronym for setting goals S.M.A.R. T.
S – Specific: Be specific about your goal.
M – Measurable: Make it measurable to check your accomplishment.
A – Attainable: Establish actions to take to make you goal a reality.
R – Realistic: When you reach your goal what kind of reward will you feel/receive?
T – Time sensitive: Set a timeframe to complete your goal.
Whether your goals are career, financial, education, family, health, or attitude oriented S.M.A.R. T will help you to accomplish your goals. Here are the same resolutions I mentioned above compared to their SMART goals.
Resolution: I want to lose weight this year.
Goal: I will lose 10 pounds by my vacation in April so I feel great at the beach.
Resolution: I want to help others this year.
Goal: I will teach at least one person a week something to help them complete their job more effectively.
Resolution: I want to spend more time with family this year.
Goal: I will make time three days a week to cook dinner so we can all eat together, and host family game night every month.
As you can see these example goals are stronger than the resolutions. The goals feel more significant because they are positive and action oriented. By establishing more specific goals you’ll know when you have achieved them or (on the flip side) how much longer you have until you accomplish them. Don’t be afraid of writing your goals down and sharing them with others. By doing this you give the goals more power and establish a support team.
In taking my own advice, here is one of my goals for 2014.
Lisa’s Career Goal: I will complete the editing on my first book by March 31st, so that I may begin submitting my book to publishers and agents April 1st with an executed
contract by November 30th.