New Year's Resolutions: Three Steps to Outlast the Average Bear and Thrive

Happy New Year!  It's a time for fresh beginnings and going after our goals for the new year.

So here's a question:  Are you better than the average bear when it comes to embracing this fresh launch?

According to Forbes Magazine, over 60% of us feel pressured into making New Year's resolutions, which I can personally appreciate.  We were raised that way with parents, friends, teachers, and others asking us "So what are your resolutions?" 

It's no wonder that the statistics on sticking to our resolutions are pretty profound if we set them feeling pressured to do so.

Depending on which Google link you click on,

  • Of those of us who set  resolutions, about 25% will have given up by the end of the first week of the year
  • Between 45% to over 65% give up on them by the end of this month.
  • Only 9% of Americans who make New Year's Resolutions actually complete them.   
  • Some cynical geniuses even marked January 17 as National Quitters Day!

To be more successful in this annual ritual, there are several effective techniques you can use to improve your chances of success, whether the resolutions are personal or work oriented.  

  1. Be SMART

Set goals that honor the SMART  (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Reasonable, Timebound) goal technique.  This approach is remarkably effective at clarifying the goal and doing a gut-check on whether it is indeed a smart goal.

2. There is enough.  Use it wisely.

Recognize competing priorities and determine how you will adjust your current habits.  So often we use excuses such as "there isn't  enough time" or "there isn't enough money."  Both of those resources are indeed finite.  However, in many circumstances, there is enough.  We merely need to adjust how we are allocating them.  For instance, rather than winding down by being a couch potato scrolling social media, take half that time and exercise.  Or rather than treating yourself to the daily Starbucks, treat yourself to accumulating the money to achieve your goal.  There is enough.  It comes down to the choices we make.

3. Have a plan

It's actually easy to set goals.  It's not too different than having a case of the "I wants."  

The rubber hits the road when you have to figure out how you're going to get what you want.  That means having a plan and putting it on paper.  The power of writing down goals and the steps you'll take to achieve it is profound.  Be as specific as you can - who will do what, by when, producing what evidence that it was done. 

Break the goal into subsets.  For example, if you want to hit a personal sales goal for the year, what are your monthly or quarterly sales goals?  Think it through enough to be able to integrate cause and effect into the breakdown.  Rather than merely dividing it by 12 or four, game out how it may actually unfold based on your planned steps.

As for whether you're better than the average bear, I have a hunch you are.   With these three steps, you can outlast him and thrive.

It's a new year.  You've got this! 




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