How to accomplish your New Year’s resolutions

new-years-resolution-goal-setting

Last day of the year, so let’s do like almost everyone else and write about New Year’s resolutions. Like I mentioned in an earlier post I’ve never really believed in having a certain date to start doing something new (or stop doing something) because I think it’s better to start when you’re ambition is high and your goal occupies your mind. But, then again, the idea is nice to start a new year with new goals, so I don’t despise doing it.

I looked up some common New Year’s resolutions and found a study from University of Scranton, USA, where they’ve listed top-10 in America for 2014 and also shows statistics of how many Americans that make resolutions, how long they last for and age success rate. You can find the link here.

So, the most common resolution is … *drumroll* … Losing weight! I think this is the most common one in the whole Western civilization because we get feeded with pictures of how the ideal body should be, all the time. The problem when saying that “this year I’ll lose weight” is that it isn’t specific enough. How will you lose weight? How much? During how long time? Make a plan and make sure you’ll stick to it, and it will be easier to not go off it and surely it’ll be more motivating!

When I studied marketing and leadership in Sport Science they taught us a technique called the SMART model. It’s used to make goals clearer and more achievable and works for every area; at work, gym, New Year etc. The SMART model stands for:
S – specific (target a specific area of improvement)
M – measurable (quantify or suggest an indicator of progress)
A – assignable (specify who will do it)
R – realistic (what results can be achieved,  given available resources)
T – time-related (when will the results be achieved)

So now we have our most common goal, lose weight, and if we use the SMART model it could look like this:
S – Lose 10kg during 2015 by going to the gym and eating less and healthier food
M – I will learn 1 new healthy dinner recipe every week, I will go to the gym twice a week, and by July I will have lost 6kg
A – I will do it by help from a personal trainer and my family
R – I will probably lose more weight before summer when the bikini season gives me more motivation and hopefully I’ll reach my goal before given time, but over Christmas I might gain some kilos again…
T – Goal will be completed after 1 year, but my sub targets will be completed by July 1st and goals with recipes and gym every week.

I could make it even more detailed depending on what my goal is. And no, this is not my goal, I used it as an example since it was the most common New Year’s resolution last year in USA.

I like this model because it gives you the chance to think about subgoals. I don’t believe in stopping doing something from one day to another without easen the way before. It might work for some people, but if you can stop in one day, you most probably can start in one day too.new-year-resolution

Here’s the complete list of New Year’s resolutions in USA 2014:

  1. Lose weight
  2. Getting organized
  3. Spend less, save more
  4. Enjoy life to the fullest
  5. Staying fit and healthy
  6. Learn something exciting
  7. Quit smoking
  8. Help others in their dreams
  9. Fall in love
  10. Spend more time with family

Number 9 made me raise my eyebrows. Fall in love – doesn’t it just happen? How could it be a resolution for a year? Maybe more like a wish? And how do you apply this goal to the SMART model?

And, if you wondered, only 46% maintain their New Year’s resolution after 6 months, but what’s more shocking is that only 75% complete the first week! I really think they need some help with creating a plan for their resolutions…

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