On the one hand the beginning of a new year seems like the perfect time to take stock and see how you're doing. It's a fresh start, a clean slate, and perhaps good time to set some goals.
But according to U.S. News and World Report 80% of New Year's Resolutions fail by February. Wow. We're optimists but even we realize those are really terrible odds. We can see why this January some are just saying "no" to resolutions.
Psychology Today recently published an article on the Four Common Reasons Why New Year's Resolutions Fail. The article is a great read, so please check out the whole thing, but in short the main reason we fail is that our goals aren't clear. That makes sense to us. The best type of goal is a very specific one. We've all heard of SMART goals, right? The letters stand for: Specific-Measurable-Achievable-Realistic-Timely.
Turns out the research mentioned in the article covers some of the other parts of the SMART acronym. Another piece of the puzzle is that change is hard and we don't always take the time to figure out the best path. So maybe rather than just jumping in, we should figure out where we're going and understand that slow and steady (and one track) can win the race.
Another point made in the article is that it's easy to get discouraged and so we need to look at whether our goals are realistic. As we go forward we may need to make adjustments. We love this recent blog Practical Resolutions by Hank Phillippi Ryan at Career Authors. Hank's advice involves Writing (a lot), reading (a lot), and also things like listening, respect, patience, perseverance, and getting better.
When it comes down to it, that last one is really what it's all about, isn't it? Getting better. So, whether your goals involve writing more, reading more, eating healthier, or getting more exercise, you can always get better. And you can start on January 1st or some random Tuesday in May. It doesn't matter. What matters is that you start!
We like to write our goals down as a reminder of what we're focusing on. And we enjoy working with SMART goals, but like everything else you have to figure out what works for you. We're all made differently and motivated differently. Some people, like our friend Holly Jacobs, picks a word for the year. We love that idea! Check out Holly's Word for 2019.
What are your thoughts? Do you set goals at the beginning of a new year? Do you pick a word or a thought to focus on for the year? Or are you in the anti-resolution camp? We'd love to hear your thoughts.
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