It’s the beginning of a new year, and for almost 75 percent of us, that means setting goals. According to experts, 188.9 million Americans want to learn something new, make a lifestyle change, or set personal self-improvement goals. “The top six categories that keep us to this holiday tradition relate to money, health, career, self-improvement, family, and love,” reports Catherine Choi, who followed the study.
Those are pretty great goals, and they would undoubtedly make us better people. But with the odds of achieving them stacked against us, how can we improve our chance at success? These four unique ways to set goals may help.
1. Break Down Your Goals into Monthly Achievements
New Year’s resolutions are huge. So big that most of us can’t keep up with our expectations. Experts estimate an average of 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by the second week of February.
Instead of making huge, seemingly life-altering claims that the Twinkie you now hold in your hand will be your last when the calendar flips over to the new year, try measuring success in smaller increments. For example, if a healthier diet is your goal, track your successes (and even those occasional setbacks) every week. Then, monitor your progress every month.
2. Change Your Goal’s Perspective
Many of us choose to “lose,” “quit,” or “stop” as part of our goal-setting. Instead of denying ourselves, let’s instead add something to the challenge. For instance, if you hope to build up your savings, taking advantage of free events and amenities within the community will make it easier to stow away some cash.
At Fair Oaks Apartment Homes, our location makes it easy to take a walk through one of the nearby parks or relax at the beach. One of our favorite places is Guadalupe Park, which features a fitness course, bike trail, and boxing club for you to get your sweat on. You can also save some money on food by eating at good and affordable local restaurants like T&S Burgers.
With endless options for fun near our apartments, you’ll have the opportunity to save some money and still have a good time. Those happy moments will really add up, and so will your savings account.
3. Give Yourself a Reason
Why is this goal important to you? Are you genuinely concerned about your health or the well-being of loved ones? Are you committed to being financially secure for your family? When you can defend your goals with valid reasons for pursuing them, it adds motivation to your commitment.
4. Be SMART about Your Goal-Setting
Developed by George Doran, Arthur Miller, and James Cummingham, the SMART method is a proven technique for achieving your goals as well. Here’s how it works: When selecting a goal,
- be Specific about what you hope to achieve,
- make sure it’s Measurable,
- ask if your goal is Attainable and Realistic, and
- be aware if it is Time-sensitive.
If you’ve been planning the same vacation for years, there’s a reason it hasn’t happened yet. And it may not be because you don’t have the time nor the money.
“You might find that the real reason you haven’t traveled is because your plans have been too vague or unrealistic,” say the experts at MindTools.com. “Think about how you can adjust your vision and rephrase it as a SMART goal, so that you can make your dream come true.”
We’ve waited all year for something better in our lives. Here’s your chance to make it happen. By allowing yourself some flexibility, incentive, and proven techniques, the rewards of your New Year’s resolutions will last the whole year.