Every January, roughly half of the United States population participates in the creation of New Year’s Resolutions. Every February, approximately 92% of those polled in various research studies report that they did not follow-through on their resolutions.
The problem with New Year’s resolutions is that:
1. They’re tied to a specific time of year.
2. They’re usually a laundry list of wishes and aspirations collected during some kind of brain dump.
Let’s examine both of those issues.
Tied to a specific time of year
If the only time you set a goal is in January for the new year, this can be problematic because you might be basing your goals on all the January sales pitches floating around or they might be pie in the sky dreams about what the new year will bring you. A resolution – if you want it to be successful – should be a goal. A goal can happen at any time of year. If you want to establish a goal near a “turning of the leaf” period, here are some other times of year that might work for you:
Chinese New Year – Similar concept, different country, usually celebrated at the end of January or early February
Spring – the season of rebirth and renewal, celebrated in March and April
Rosh Hashanah – Jewish New Year, similar concept, perhaps a different culture/religion from yours, usually celebrated in September. In 2022, Rosh Hashanah will be celebrated from September 25-27.
Q4 – fourth quarter in the business world, a time to make a made dash to finish what you said you’d do
Wishes and aspirations list
I’m not trying to be a dream killer. I think it’s very important to dream, envision the future, think about the type of life you want to live. But when you call your wish list or resolutions list your goals list, this is where you can get into trouble. There are usually too many wishes on the list for anyone to work on at any one time. Plus, the planning needed usually doesn’t happen. This can only lead to disappointment.
Goal setting AND accomplishing your goals
Since this will post just after Rosh Hashanah, I thought this was a perfect time to remind you about the keys to resolutions aka goal setting and goal completion.
1 Choose one goal.
2 Figure out what resources you’ll need to accomplish it.
3 Determine the steps you’ll need to take (or that others will need to take on your behalf) and list them.
4 Estimate the amount of time each step will take.
5 Schedule your “work time” for each step on your calendar.
There you go. That’s how you accomplish your New Year’s Resolutions or Fall Resolutions or Rosh Hashanah Resolutions…or whatever you want to call your goals.
Go forth and achieve!
For details on how to achieve long term projects (aka goal completion), check out The Inefficiency Assassin: Time Management Tactics for Working Smarter, Not Longer.