With a new decade just around the corner, you might find yourself even more inclined than usual to set New Year’s resolutions. However, resolutions on their own aren’t enough. Studies have shown that approximately 80% of people don’t actually stick to their resolutions past the month of February, so how do the select 20% manage to do it?
Simply put – they turn their resolutions into goals. A resolution on its own is like an empty promise. The intention is good, but the action isn’t there. Imagine that a resolution is an umbrella and a goal is the handle. Like the handle, a goal quite literally holds up the resolution. To successfully achieve your New Years resolutions, whether they’re personal or professional, you need both intention and action. This year, don’t just set resolutions – set goals.
That’s where goals come into play. Instead of a broad resolution of ‘this year I want to get promoted’, setting a goal forces you to get specific and choose a timeframe. ‘I want to be promoted to manager by August’ gives you an end date and therefore something to work consistently towards. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with saying ‘by this time next year, I want…’, the more specific you can be, the more likely you’ll be to turn your resolution into reality.
Most resolutions will actually need to be broken down into multiple goals, or one large goal with micro-goals to achieve along the way. Don’t be afraid to really drill down on your goals and set milestones that you can achieve as you work towards the big goal of achieving your resolution.
Once you’ve set your goals, go one step further and define your ‘why’. Your ‘why’ is crucial for maintaining motivation, and it’s something you should refer back to quite often. It can help you push through challenges and keep going as the year progresses. To establish your ‘why’, think about how you’ll feel when you accomplish your goal and how achieving it will improve your life. For example:
Resolution = Get promoted
Goals = become a manger by August with a good salary increase, take charge of and lead at least one project in Jan/Feb, start discussions about promotion in February
Why = one more step in the right direction on a career path, better schedule, more money
This trifecta of resolution, goal, and motivation is the trick to not only making resolutions, but achieving them. With all of the thought and effort you’ve put into your resolutions, you now have an action plan and a roadmap to follow that will put you well on your way to success.