They just do. I’m writing this for myself since every year I start the first week of January with a huge TO DO LIST of goals and aspirations, and by April I’ve either given up, forgotten, or procrastinated it away. I believe New Year’s Resolutions (without structure) absolutely will set you up to fail every time.
It’s almost inevitable, there is a huge HIGH as you plan your goals and maybe even start to progress towards them during the first quarter of the year, which is most times later followed with a disappointing LOW.
Here’s some strategies that HAVE NOT worked for me:
- Having Broad or General goals
- Adding too Many to the List
- Not Writing How to Achieve them
- Goals without Timelines
- Listing End Goals without Intermediate Steps
Some Tips on Effective Goal Setting:
- Use concrete goals that are measurable.
- Example: instead of “I want to start a YouTube channel” — try “Upload 1 video per week to my channel this year”.
- Focus on 3-7 larger (but achievable) goals as opposed to 25 smaller tasks.
- I choose goals from categories such as Personal, Professional, Travel, and Charity which are important to me at the present time.
- Prioritize steps.
- Example: if your goal is “Get promoted at work”, think about the steps that will lead you there and in what progression you must work– When will you talk to your boss? What will you say and what is the job you want? Are you knowledgeable about the industry salary averages? What in your track record makes you prepared for this?
- Annualize goals but break them up tangibly.
- Example: if your goal is to “Start a company” or “Test a business idea”- instead of that general overwhelming goal, break it down. Some steps you may consider could be doing industry research in Quarter 1, lead generation and team building in Quarter 2, legal incorporation and paperwork in Quarter 3, and secure recurring clients and revenues in Quarter 4 (or better yet right away!).
- Audit and Accountability.
- Instead of looking at the year as a single continuous block- break it up quarterly, monthly, or any amount of predetermined time that will allow you the opportunity to Self-Audit yourself. Measure your goals and tasks completed, and organize a plan going forward to stay on track.
- I struggle with accountability and motivation like many people, so one strategy to employ could be telling a friend your goals. Saying your goals aloud coupled with their knowledge of your list can help keep you going.
- Reward yourself and celebrate accordingly when achieving milestones.
What do you use for successful resolutions? Let me know. For the record one of my goals for 2016 is to regularly write (40 blogs to be exact). Keep me honest by following my Blog here. Happy New Years!