According to a Forbes study in 2013 only 8% of the New Year’s resolutions proclaimed on January 1 will come to fruition by December 31. I’m not great at math, but even I know that a 92% failure rate does not imply great odds for success…
It is my belief that most goals don’t pan out for a few reasons:
1) They are unrealistic and/or too big.
2) We are not mentally prepared to make the necessary changes (ya’ll, change is hard!).
3) We don’t have the necessary support.
For the sake of illustration, let’s take a look at the most common New Year’s resolution: weight loss.
So often people start out with a plan to workout for an hour a day 6 days a week, and maintain a 1,200 calorie diet. This is great in theory. However, if you have been eating a burger and fries for lunch every day and living a fairly sedentary lifestyle, these are pretty intense goals! After the first few days of muscle pain, the overwhelming hunger pains, and the return of the busy schedule, it is simply too easy to go back to old habits.
The person who is successful is the person who is realistic in their goal setting. The person who takes time to really examine their life, and their priorities. The person who breaks the goal down into realistic bite sized pieces (i.e. “I want to lose 50lbs” could be “I want to lose 1lb a week” – or “I want to run a marathon” could start with “I want to run 2 miles within a month.”) This does not apply only to weight loss & fitness…. This is true regardless of the goal.
So, to have the best possible chance at success this year, make sure to examine your goals and ask yourself these questions:
1) What are my priorities? Is this goal really important to me?
2) Are my goals realistic? Can I break my overall goal down into smaller, more attainable goals?
3) What steps do I need to take in order to ensure that I am really ready to make these changes?
4) Who can provide support and accountability to me in reaching this goal?
Once you have asked these questions and established goals that are truly realistic you are much more likely to fall into the 8% category! If you struggle with goal setting, or need help assessing how realistic your goals are, give us a call – we’d love to help you take a look at where you are in life and determine the steps necessary to help you live your best life possible!
Jennifer Smith, M.A. LPC with www.246counseling.com