Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Top 3 Reasons New Year’s Resolutions Fail and What You Can do about it

Happy New Year! Chances are, if you set a New Year’s resolution, you are now on day 3 of your resolution. I hope things are going well. Let’s examine the second reason that New Year’s resolutions often fail. In last week’s post, we discussed how people often lack the motivation they need. The second reason resolutions fail is due to a lack of clarity and lack of planning.

Reason #2 – Your resolution lacks clarity, focus, and realistic expectations

By nature, resolutions are often very vague and represent huge changes. According to a 2007 FranklinCovey survey, some of the most common resolutions are I am going to lose weight, I am going to exercise more, and I am going to get out of debt. These vague, grandiose goals are not only overwhelming, they can make coming up with an action plan an extremely difficult process.

The solution:
The best solution for this issue is to ensure you are setting S.M.A.R.T. goals. This is an acronym for setting goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, reaching and timely. When we have a plan and a strategy for how we will achieve our goals, they become much more manageable and therefore more easily attained. Let’s re-examine one of our vague goals from earlier – I am going to get out of debt.

The first step is to examine why you want to achieve this goal so you can find your motivation. Next, you apply the S.M.A.R.T. principles to the goal and it transforms into the following; I would like to pay off $6,000 in credit card debt by the end of 2012. I will reduce my monthly expenditures by $500 by lowering my cable bill, cutting out going out to eat every weekend and taking my lunch 4 days a week.

By creating a plan, you can break the goal into bite-sized chunks that enable you to monitor and measure your progress along the way. The specifics of the goal and the step-by-step planning will make your resolution seem less daunting and therefore more realistically attainable.

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