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8%. That is the amount of people who statistically complete their new year’s resolution. A full 24% have never achieved a new year’s resolution in their life. Want to know the secret to setting and keeping your new year’s resolution?
The secret is… drumroll please… Writing your goals down explicitly.
Pick up this free Goal Setting Worksheet to write your goals down easily.
Surprised? I bet not. But statistically people who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.
What does explicitly mean?
According to Dictionary.com explicitly means: to fully and clearly express or demonstrate; leaving nothing merely implied.
This means to not only state your new year’s resolution but to write down EXACTLY how you will achieve it. Otherwise, it is INCONCEIVABLE!
The Princess Bride Sicilian invented a new type of goal setting…
These are called S.M.A.R.T goals
- Action Oriented
For example half of all new year’s resolutions are related to self-improvement and education. A common resolution that is vague is “learn something exciting this year.” This is not specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, or time sensitive.
How to create SMART goals…
The first step in creating SMART goals is grabbing a pen and getting them down on paper. Those who write their goals down are 10x more likely to achieve it than those who don’t. We wanted to help you hold yourself accountable to your goals, so we made the worksheet!
Not only do you need to become 100% clear on exactly what you wish to achieve. But more importantly, you need to become 100% clear on WHY you wish to achieve this goal. Losing 30 lbs is a great goal, but why do you wish to do it?
A powerful reason WHY gives you a higher chance of success. For instance, “I MUST lose 30lbs so I don’t have a heart attack and leave my kids without a father.”
An Example of Specific Goals:
- Setting daily goals to increase productivity in your business and become more organized
- Writing every day to become a New York times best selling author
- Outsourcing 3 new tasks a month to spend more time with your family
- “Inigo Montoya killing the 6 finger man who murdered his father… “
Success doesn’t happen overnight. It is after all, a new YEAR’s resolution. There are 366 days to achieve your goal (this year is a leap year). You must be able to see and measure progress to know if you are on track or not.
One of my favorite tools to measure progress is the Way of Life App. If you make a habit of using it, you can visually see how your progress is going.
I would also suggest measuring your commitment to the goal. Not just your progress. Every day, ask yourself “Am I still committed?” If you answer “no,” figure out what has changed and what you need to do to recommit yourself.
Pro Tip: Simple tracking measures like a yes/no, in my opinion, are the best. Either you did the task or you didn’t. Did you write every day? Yes/NO. Did you set goals every day? Yes/No.
Just as much do you need to measure progress, there must be an action plan ready to roll. Can the steps be broken down into chunks to achieve the results? For instance, even though a task like writing a blog post every day seems simple enough, what are the pieces that need to be done?
To achieve goal X, I must do XYZ.
To write on my blog every day I must:
- Write topic/headlines for this week worth of content
- Write outlines for each topic
- Create the first draft of blog content
- Write 20 headlines and find the best one
- Edit and finalize the article
- Find free images to post with the article
- Upload to WordPress or other blog sources
- Add internal linking
- Schedule in advance, when it should publish
Don’t rely on others to achieve your goals, that is unrealistic. Set your goals as something you have 100% control over. Don’t put the success or failure of YOUR goals on someone else. That is unrealistic.
Buttercup: We’ll never survive.
Westley: Nonsense. You’re only saying that because no one ever has.
Are your goals so much of a stretch that they are unachievable? Stretch goals are great, but to much of a stretch makes it impossible to even come close.
Using the example of writing every day….
Writing a blog article every day can be an attainable goal if you are a fast writer. If you are a slow or new to writing, then this is waaayyyy too much of a stretch.
To figure out what a stretch goal is, try it out. You’ll begin to understand what is achievable or not for yourself. Remember, you do want to build up your self-confidence. Set the goal just enough ahead, but not something you’d definitely fail at achieving.
Time Sensitive Goals.
Your goals or benchmarks should be broken down into a daily, weekly, and monthly timeframe. But having a timeframe isn’t enough. Ask yourself why you need to do it in this time frame. What happens if you miss a day writing your blog content? What are the consequences?
If there are no consequences you will let the habit slip. You will miss a day because life comes up, and then another day. So on until you have given up on your goals.
If you create a time-sensitive reason WHY, you have an incentive to achieve it. For instance, I will write every day for a month. If I achieve this benchmark I will buy myself a new iPhone. If not, I have to keep my old phone.
Now you have extra incentive to hold yourself accountable.
Your Environment Affects your Habits.
Imagine if you tried to quit smoking, but all your friends are smokers. Every time you hang out with your friends they are puffing down cigarettes. What are the chances you will actually quit? Probably pretty slim.
Let’s look at a scenario where you’d want to lose weight. Let’s say you sign up for a yoga retreat. You eat healthy vegetarian food while you are there and are happy with the diet and the results. However, when you come home you’re surrounded by Double Stuffed Oreo’s and Ho-Ho’s. What are you going to eat? Unless you toss out all the junk food, chances are you’ll start to sneak it into your daily routine.
If you really want to crush your goals for this year and hold to your new year’s resolution you have to change your environment to one that supports your goals.
Some ideas for changing your environment are:
- Hang out with people who are already doing what you desire
- Ditch unsupportive friends and contacts in your new endeavor
- Read blogs and websites about the new goal you wish to achieve
- Blog about it every day—this helps you stay accountable
- Get an accountability partner
- Block websites that distract you
Really this list can be endless. It is up to you to figure out the environmental factors that need to be changed and create an action plan to change it.