The New Year’s Resolution is a popular and fashionable trend. Everyone seems to have one, if not more, and they’re often a source of conversation as the year winds to a close. It is also common, albeit less spoken about, that most of these resolutions are broken in January.
So why adopt such a strategy if it’s lack of success is so certain that it’s practically part of the same series of beliefs that birthed it? Instead of making and breaking New Year’s resolutions, why not simply skip them and make effective goals year-round?
First, why does making major life changes seem more important at the beginning of the year? Instead of perpetuating this thinking, adopt instead the notion that you can make any change at any time simply by setting an effective goal. Not only does this offer you many more opportunities for improvement, but it also grants more chances to succeed which, in turn, makes future success even more likely.
Effective goals should be specific and measurable. Simply saying â€œI will be happier in the coming monthsâ€ is not sufficient enough. Instead, determine what specific changes are necessary to achieve said happiness, as well as how your progress can be measured.
Good goals must also be both attainable and realistic. Setting a goal that is beyond your abilities will result in automatic failure which, in turn, will encourage cycles of negative thinking. By ensuring that your goals are actually achievable, you can not only reverse such cycles, but can also build future successes on today’s goals.
Finally, good goals must be time-based. Deciding that you will open a business or write a novel is not very helpful if you’re perpetually procrastinating. In fact, this is little different than setting no goals at all. Instead, by deciding that you will achieve the goal within a specific timeframe, you not only encourage yourself to take regular steps, but you also grant yourself another mechanism by which to evaluate progress. For instance, if half of your a lotted time has elapsed and you haven’t achieved at least half of your specific and measurable results, then perhaps your goal should be re-evaluated and adjusted to remain effective.
By making your goals specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-based, or SMART, you will have unlocked a tool more powerful than can be had with any simple New Year’s resolution. Furthermore, these tools are available to you not just on New Year’s Eve, but on every other day as well.
It is very easy to make goals during moments of inspiration, then to forget said goals later. As such, it is usually helpful to keep a pen and paper handy for when such moments strike. Even if your initial thoughts don’t fit the above criteria for good goals, they may later be more thoroughly fleshed out during times of contemplation.
Learning how to set effective goals and to clearly chart your progress is an incredibly useful tool that can absolutely revolutionize your life. With such keys to empowerment at your disposal, why would you ever make another New Year’s resolution again?