According to experts on goal setting, only 9.2 per cent of us will actually achieve our New Year’s resolutions. That statistic alone would discourage anyone from making New Year’s resolutions in the first place.
But, we all have goals and dreams and most of us have experienced how great it feels to achieve what we set out to do. As the old saying goes: “if you fail to plan you plan to fail.” So, with that in mind, here are some tips on how to set goals, whether they are business or personal, so you have a better chance of success.
Time management experts say that making SMART goals, is the way to go. SMART is an acronym for:
Specific: When setting goals, they need to be as specific as possible. One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight. Simply saying that you want to lose weight is not specific enough and your chances of success are not very good. Instead, make the goal as specific as possible such as losing two pounds per month over the next five months for a total of 10 pounds.
Measurable: Being able to measure your success is important for keeping you motivated and on track with your goals. Some goals are more easily measured than others. If you want to lose two pounds per months, all you have to do is step on the scale to know if you’re on track. Other less tangible goals will still have some aspect that can be measured. For instance, if you want to eat healthier, keeping a record of what you eat daily will help you stay motivated and allow you to consistently check your progress.
Achievable: To have a better chance at success, your goals must be achievable. That doesn’t mean you can’t have big goals — it means your goals should be challenging yet achievable. Another popular New Year’s resolution is to save more money for retirement. Rather than the big goal of saving enough money to comfortably retire in 10 years at age 40, it’s more achievable to have the goal of saving an extra $100 or more a month for the next 10 years.
Relevant: Not all goals are worth the time and effort to achieve. Make sure your goals really matter to you and they fit into the overall plan of your life. Also, make sure that you are making goals for the right reasons. Don’t set goals out of a sense of obligation, guilt or what others think you should do — that will just set yourself up for disappointment.
Time-bound: As with setting goals that are achievable, the timeline you come up with to reach your goals must be realistic. Lets say you want to get in the habit of reading more this year. If you lead a very busy life, setting a timeline of reading one book per month for the whole year is more realistic than reading one new book every two weeks.
Setting and reaching your goals is very satisfying. But to better your chances of success make sure your goals are SMART goals. Also, be kind to yourself. Setting goals is a process for a lifetime, and not something that is only done once a year. If you falter as you go along, just regroup and start again.
As Nelson Mandela said: “I never lose. I either win or learn.”
Are you ready to set some SMART Goals for 2019?
Hit that reply button and tell me one BIG goal you want to accomplish this coming year, I’d love to hear from you!