Drop the Resolution, Set Goals Instead
Only 9 percent of people achieve their new year resolutions, according to Statistic Brain. Resolutions and goals are very similar in many ways. Even their definitions are similar. Goals are “the object of a person's ambition or effort; an aim or desired result,” where a resolution is “a firm decision to do or not to do something.”
So, why set goals instead of making a resolution?
Essentially, resolutions are too absolute and too large for most people to achieve. If you start to fail at your resolution, you begin to ignore it because you’ve already failed. When you resolve to eat fewer sweets, but have a bad week, it feels like you’ve failed. When it’s a goal, you know you have to keep working at it.
It is largely a semantics game for some people, but I prefer goals. Each year we set goals for our staffs, so why not set personal goals rather than resolutions for ourselves? During the year, we revisit the progress towards the goals and ensure that we are on track. We don’t hit the goal the first day of the year. We work towards the goal and we achieve a goal.
Whether you call it a goal or a resolution, allow yourself the chance to work toward your objective. A step back now and then is part of the process—allow yourself that. Finally, hold yourself accountable for meeting that goal. There are many best practices for achieving your goals, but two work really well.
- Write it down!
- Tell someone and have them hold you accountable.
I’m going to write mine down for everyone who reads this to see and help hold me accountable this year. My 2018 personal improvement goal is to lose 12 lbs., losing roughly 1 lb. per month. I want to end the year 12 lbs. lighter than I’m starting it. My strategy will be to eat better, while logging my food more reliably on MyfitnessPal, and continue to exercise more.
I welcome your encouragement/harassment towards me meeting my goal. No matter where you end up at the end of 2018, take a look back and measure the progress you made, rather than focusing on what you don’t accomplish.