Not long after the strains of Auld Lang Syne have died, people everywhere are busy making New Year’s resolutions.
I’m going to lose weight.
I’m going to quit smoking.
I’m going to get fit.
I’m going to get a better job.
I’m going to save more money.
These are among the most common resolutions people make for the New Year. And while the prospect of a blank canvas can make you feel that you can achieve these things, research shows that only 8 per cent of people are actually successful in achieving their resolutions.
Just 8 per cent. That’s not very many people.
For the rest of us, that’s why they remain. Unfulfilled dreams or a wish-list of things that would have been nice to accomplish.
However, you can increase your chances of achieving your goals if you are SMART about them.
The first thing you need to do is to set a goal that means something to you. Don’t resolve to run a marathon if you really hate running. Similarly, if you are not ready to give up smoking, don’t say you’ll do it. You need to be excited about your goal, otherwise, it’s too hard to stay motivated when the going gets tough.
Secondly, you need to write down your goals. Writing out your goals helps you clarify what really want. To give more power to your goal, you should also write down why it’s important to you. Why do you want to achieve it? Writing down your goals also makes you more accountable to them.
It will also help motivate you to get started as well as stay committed to them when other ‘opportunities’ come along. The other good thing about writing down your goals is that you can monitor your progress — and celebrate your achievements.
No, we are not talking about being clever here (although people who set goals are clever!) We are talking about the SMART goal acronym
SMART stands for:
For example, if you are focusing on improving your finances: