Quick Tips for Making Resolutions That Stick

RL12-21-2015Every New Year’s Day, millions of people resolve to better themselves, become more marketable in their field, and finally achieve goals they’ve been putting on hold for years. But just because you’ve decided what you want to do or be in the new year, doesn’t mean the end goal is easy to reach. In fact, a University of Scranton study found that only 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions. The 92% fail rate may discourage some people from even making goals, but we at Refresh Leadership want to ensure you not only meet your goals in 2016, but you also excel in your professional resolutions. So when you’re creating your 2016 New Year’s resolutions, consider these quick tips for making resolutions that stick!

Use S.M.A.R.T. techniques.

The most important method of making resolutions that stick is using the S.M.A.R.T. goal-making template. A S.M.A.R.T. goal is one that is “Specific,” “Measurable,” “Attainable,” “Realistic,” and “Timely.”  For your New Year’s resolutions, use specific language and clearly define what the goal is. Be sure to have measurable aspects of the goal to be able to track progress. One problem people create in regard to resolutions is setting a goal that is unattainable. If it is realistic that you can attain success, than most likely it’s a good resolution. And finally, be sure to create a time table for the goal. It needs to have a specific due date.

Make the resolution for yourself, not others.

One problem many have in regard to career advancement and personal growth is that they measure themselves against other’s success. If you’re always looking at someone else’s career, you’ll never truly make it to where you want to be in your own. Make resolutions based on your personal goals, not what you feel like others expect from you. Also, instead of competing with others, compete with your past. If your resolution is to be a better leader, then look at where you’ve been, where you want to be, and make specific measures to achieve that goal. Consider what Ernest Hemingway once said: “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”

Enlist a friend for moral support.

Sometimes the hardest aspect of achieving goals is trying to do it on your own. You can always find reasons to not do something, avoid staying late to work on a project, or skip that career-development book. So to avoid short-lived resolutions, ask a friend, co-worker, or mentor to keep you accountable to ensure you stay focused on achieving your goals. When deciding who to enlist for moral support, consider someone who has the same career goals as you and has a vested interest in you achieving them. Moral support can easily turn into two people holding each other back, so choose wisely.

Being goal-oriented is imperative to achieving your career aspirations and being the leader you need to be for those around you. By taking these quick tips to heart when planning your 2016 personal goals, you give yourself a better chance of being the 8% who will achieve their New Year’s resolutions.

What do you do to ensure you are successful in your goal setting? What are some ways you stay motivated throughout the year and help make your resolutions stick? Let us know in the comments section below!

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