If you close your eyes and reflect on 2023, or the many years before, can you recall making resolutions at the start of a new year? Did you keep them?
Don't be discouraged if you have failed to achieve goals in the past, and keep reading to learn what to do for success in the future.
If you close your eyes and reflect on 2023, or the many years before, can you recall making resolutions at the start of a new year? Did you keep them? Were they life-changing, achievable, and worth the effort put in? Did they require sufficient sacrifice, altering of annoying habits, and financial investments for the betterment of self?
New Year’s goals are nothing new, and roughly 4/10 of us set goals every year. And with that said, most of us have historically set similar goals. According to Forbes’ New Year’s Resolution Statistics, the top goals set for the new year include some form of fitness goals, finance goals, and goals for improving mental health. You know the drill, you vow to get a gym membership, to lose weight, to pay off some debts, and to be happier.
But can you honestly say that you have made these goals in the past and have actually achieved them? If so, you have accomplished what less than 10% of people who set new year’s goals have done – and you likely followed the steps that this article will give for success. In fact 80% of people give up on their goals by February. Don’t believe me? Ask any manager of a fitness center or gym about their attendance post February.
Don’t be discouraged if you have failed to achieve goals in the past, and keep reading to learn what to do for success in the future.
First, your goals should be SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
Specific: Any goal that is going to be accomplished must be specific enough to give precise targets.
For example, do not set a goal to “lose weight;” instead, set a goal to “lose 10 pounds,” or a specific amount of weight.
Another example would be to set a goal to “spend 1 additional evening a week with my family eating together at the dinner table,” rather than setting a goal to “spend more time with my family.”
Measurable: A specific goal must be able to be measured. In order to do this, you need to baseline where you are at the beginning of the year, so you can measure your progress throughout the year. In the two examples above:
Weigh yourself now. Then set your target weight XX number of pounds less.
Make note of how much time you currently spend with your family. For instance, you currently spend 2 nights a week eating together at the dinner table.
Achievable: This is pretty self explanatory, and it means don’t set unrealistic goals. If you’ve never worked out in your life, don’t set a goal of going to the gym 5x a week. It’s not realistically achievable, and you set yourself up to fail.
Relevant:Your goals need to fit in with your overall life purpose and dreams. If your goal is not related to your entire family’s goal or your personal aspirations, you are much less likely to think about the goals or feel the true sense of accomplishment when you meet your goals.
Lastly, Time-bound: Set time frames for your goals, and make the times more specific than just “a year.” Incremental changes are necessary when trying to accomplish major life changes. For the previous example, make a goal to lose 2.5lbs per 3 months, which will total 10lbs in a year.
Now that you know how to set SMART goals, you need to know how to make sure you meet these goals, and there are some simple steps that can help:
Make the goals visible. Print them out on paper, write them on a chalk board, set notifications in your phone.
Get the family involved. Have your whole family write personal goals and create a few family goals together.
Pulse-check your progress. Do regular check-ins to track your progress. Once a week, once a month, once a quarter. And do it with your family. Accountability goes a long way, and when you see yourself and your family making incremental positive changes towards accomplishing goals, the momentum always shifts towards improving confidence.
A few of my own goals for the new year include:
Participate in one 5K a quarter (4 total in a year)
Keep up with my laundry, doing a load of laundry every other night instead of saving it all for the weekend.
Read my bible with my family an average of 5 nights a week, 10 minutes a night.
I hope you found this helpful in your journey of setting goals. You can do this, I promise!