As written for Doctor for Life ~
It’s that time again. We can’t believe it’s December. Christmas is almost here. We recap our year, taking stock of the best times and worst times. We evaluate, how did 2017 go? We think about a new year and a new beginning. It means something to us, somehow.
Self-improvement is a shared hobby. It is estimated that greater than 40% of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions. But only about 8% achieve them.
People have good intentions. The problem lies in goal-setting. Say the first thought is “I want to lose weight.” A person may decide on a goal of losing 30 pounds.
“Losing 30 pounds” is an Outcome Goal. It’s what you accomplish after a series of steps. You have to work to get there. Instead, a person should focus on Behavior Goals – what, when and how you are going to do something in order to lose that 30 pounds.
I found a Forbes article that breaks down how to be successful with New Year’s Resolutions nicely, that is worth re-reading every year. Borrowing the sections…
Keep It Simple
We tend to set a huge goal or create a long list for ourselves. We are daunted from the start, which can lead to failing to launch at all or getting overwhelmed early. Instead, set small, attainable goals… “I am going to walk in my neighborhood.”
Make It Tangible
The more vague your resolution, the more vague your results. We have to be specific with our goals, and we have to measure the method. “I am going to walk in my neighborhood every Sunday for 30 minutes.”
Make It Obvious
Track, track, track! The pure idea that you have to document what you do (and don’t do) will affect your choices. It becomes real then. You have to admit it. Another great tactic is sharing your goals with other people – family, friends, social media. You are then accountable to more than just yourself.
Keep Believing You Can Do It
Simply setting a goal increases your chances of actually achieving something by 10 times (according to Statistic Brain). Yet average people get discouraged easily after a couple weeks or months. They feel defeated and at fault. Yet confidence is key. You have as much willpower as you think you have. So boost that willpower supply with some self-love and positive influences.