According to a survey of British adults by ComRes, 63% of respondents have failed to keep a New Year’s resolution in the past. This means that if you are making a New Year’s resolution or setting goals this year, the odds of you failing to keep your resolution or meet or achieve your goal is 3 to 1.
So does that mean that New Year’s resolutions are a waste of time? No.
I would like to look at this statistics from a different angle and look at the 32% who managed to stick to their resolution for a length of time?
I have stopped making New Year’s resolutions but I do make goals all year round. I have set some goals for myself this year and I am looking forward to be in the minority 32% or less that achieve their goals.
Before I talk about how you can increase your chances of success with your goals, let me give you five benefits of goal setting.
5 benefits of goal setting
People with clear written goals accomplish far more in a shorter period than people without goals can ever imagine ~ Brian Tracey
- Goals help you achieve more
- Goals give you focus
- Goals help you take charge and take control of your life
- Goals help you create the future you desire
- Goals help you become self-disciplined
So what can you do to be a goal achiever?
There are a few things that have helped me move from the many good intentions I have from time to time to taking and maintaining purposeful action that has led to my achieving some of my goals.
I will not be talking about SMART goals but about the practical steps you can take to increase the chances of your achieving your SMART goal
Achieving Your SMART goals
#1. Write it down
You have a better chance of achieving your goals when you have them written down. The process of writing down your goals helps you to clarify them. Written goals are less fuzzy than unwritten goals. It also helps you to know when you have achieved your goal.
#2. Break it down
Now that you have set your big audacious goal, you need to come up with a plan of action for achieving it. You need to set smaller short-term goals or targets to reach for along the way. These milestones and plan of action should also be written down.
#3. Take little steps
The key to your successfully achieving your goals is in finding the small steps you can take today and on a regular basis that will move you closer to your goal. Read this blog post “Think Big & Start Small” to find out what small steps you can take today to bring you closer to your dream.
#4. Fight procrastination
You have to realise that the battle against procrastination is going to be an ongoing one. The more important and life-changing the result of your achieving your goals, the bigger your battle with procrastination. Steven Pressfields book, “Do the work” is a useful resource.
This can be achieved in the form of coaching, mentoring or being part of a mastermind group. You can also ask a friend or family member to hold you accountable for what you say you are going to do.
#6. Review regularly
There is no point in having written goals and plans and not look at it until you get close to your set deadline. This is one thing which I continue to struggle with and I guess I am not alone. But what I have found to be true is that when I review and actually implement my plans, the quality of work done increases. So don’t prepare your next speech or work on your assignment at the last minute.
#7. Pray over it
If you do not pray or believe in prayers, you can skip this one. I am a Christian and I believe in the power of prayers. I recognise that I need God to come to my aid as I work towards achieving my goals. So I pray for favour, I pray for resources and I pray for the strength to maintain focus.
These are the seven things that will help you achieve your goals this year. Not all seven will apply to you. Don’t give up on setting a goal for yourself this year simply because you did not achieve last year’s goal. If last year’s goal is still relevant, you may want to have another go at it and take some of the steps mentioned above to increase your chances of success.