Do you make a resolution on New Year’s Eve? If so, you’re in good company! Forty five percent of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions, and there are a few repeat offenders every January first!
Some of the resolutions on this list – like “learn something exciting” – were surprising to me, and there were others that seem like pretty run-of-the-mill resolutions, like “lose weight” or “get organized.”
Reading through this list, I’m seeing two trends: these New Year’s resolutions are on the vague side, aren’t they? And more than half of us ditch them as the year goes on!
It’s easy at midnight after a few glasses of champagne to declare that you’re going to lose weight or get organized in the new year, but it’s also setting yourself up to fail.
Back when I worked in the corporate world, the company I worked for loved management classes. I went to management classes every month or so. Some of what we learned in those classes was pretty worthless, but there was one thing that has stuck with me, and that’s how to create an accomplishable goal. A goal – or a New Year’s resolution – is much more likely to succeed if it is FAST:
- Flexible – If you’re not able to meet your goal, how will you handle it?
- Attainable – How are you going to achieve this? Hatch a plan!
- Specific – With a specific goal you know when you’re on the right track.
- Timed - Set a time limit. Even better: set yourself smaller mini-goals every few months.
So, how do you take New Year’s resolutions and make them successful? Let’s look at the #1 resolution: lose weight:
- Make it specific – I want to lose 20 pounds.
- Make it timed – I want to lose five pounds by March 31, five more by June 30, five more by September 30, and five more by December 31.
- Make it attainable – I want to lose five pounds by March 31, and I’ll do that by walking for 30 minutes a day, four days a week and drinking a green smoothie for breakfast each morning.
- Make it flexible – This part happens on-the-fly. Maybe you sprain your ankle in February. You might be off of your feet and unable to hit your goal. You can be flexible by adjusting your goal for the year or trying to make up the lost time by exercising more once you’re on your feet again. Flexibility stops real life problems from standing in your way and from letting small hiccups derail your whole plan.
Do you guys have any New Year’s resolutions? Do you think that making them FAST could help them succeed?
Infographic via Visual.ly