We are one week in 2018.  How are your New Years Resolutions going?  Statistically half of all resolutions fail.  Read on to make sure you do not become a statistic!

Your resolution may be wrong for one of the following three reasons:

  • It’s a resolution created based on what someone else (or society) is telling you to change.
  • It’s too vague.
  • You don’t have a realistic plan for achieving your resolution.

Goal is another word for Resolution.  Your goals should have a PLAN and be SMART. That’s an acronym coined in the journal Management Review in 1981 for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. It may work for management, but it can also apply to your resolutions, too.

  • Specific. Your goal should be absolutely clear. “Making a concrete goal is really important rather than just vaguely saying ‘I want to lose weight.’ You want to have a goal: How much weight do you want to lose and at what time interval?” said Katherine L. Milkman, an associate professor of operations information and decisions at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Measurable. This may seem obvious if your goal is a fitness or weight loss related one, but it’s also important if you’re trying to cut back on something, too. If, for example, you want to grow your hair.  Take pictures of your hair at the beginning and throughout the year so you can really SEE the progress. Tracking you progress into a journal or making notes on your phone or in an app designed to help you track behaviors can reinforce the progress, no matter what your resolution may be.
  • Achievable. Now this doesn’t mean that you can’t have big goals. However, trying to take too big a step too fast can leave you frustrated and likely lead to you failing.  So, for example, resolving to save enough money to retire in five years when you’re 40 years old is probably not realistic, but saving an extra $100 a month may be.
  • Relevant. Is this a goal that really matters to you, and are you making it for the right reasons? “If you do it out of the sense of self-hate or remorse or a strong passion in that moment, it doesn’t usually last long,” said Dr. Michael Bennett, a psychiatrist and co-author of two self-help books. Also if you are doing something because of family or societal pressures that also may not be the best thing for you.  For example, are you trying to get married because society says you should be married by 30 and so you are willing to just settle for the next guy to come along?  In the short term, you may meet your goal but on other hand spend a life time of misery with the wrong person.
  • Time-bound. Create a realistic timeline and plan toward reaching your goal. That means giving yourself enough time to do complete your goal and setting intermediate smaller goals along the way to give yourself the motivation to keep going.  “Focus on these small wins so you can make gradual progress,” Charles Duhigg, author of “The Power of Habit” and a former New York Times writer, said. “If you’re building a habit, you’re planning for the next decade, not the next couple of months.”

Comment below on your top resolution for this year and how you plan to reach it!  2018 is your year, I can feel it!:)