I find New Year’s Resolutions to be a fun but generally flighty endeavor! I’ve set goals every year but very few of those years did I keep them.
I thought it would be interesting to find out how others fair when it comes to their resolutions. According to the University of Stanton, Journal of Clinical Psychology the top three resolutions for 2012 were (1) lose weight, (2) get organized, and (3) spend less, save more. I found that most of the ten goals (other than fall in love) were ones I might set for myself. All of these are admirable goals but I wonder how many people succeeded…
The same study (found here) states that only 45% of Americans make resolutions with 38% stating that they don’t ever make resolutions. The other 17% make resolutions some years and not others. I would personally fall into that group.
So who keeps there resolutions… Over a one year period, only 8% of people are successful at keeping their resolutions. However 46% maintain their resolutions at the six month mark. Self improvement goals seem to be the most successful resolutions when it comes to sticking to it.
People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions
This study is maintained by a phone call to each participant at even intervals throughout the year.
When setting goals you have to remember the correct way to set goals and that way is S-M-A-R-T.
• S-Specific! You can’t simply say I want to lose weight, you have to make it specific like I will workout three days a week and maintain a calorie count of 1500.
• M-Measurable! If your goal is to run a 5K, you first need to set interim goals of run one mile by the end of this week, two this week, three this week and run a 5K by this date.
• A-Attainable! Don’t set a goal of becoming a millionaire when you have a current income of $24,000. That’s a bit of a jump.
•R-Realistic! This is a bit like attainable with a twist. Realistic goals means goals you are willing and able to work towards. If you want to exercise everyday in the new year but have to have surgery next week that will cause you to be off your feet for six weeks, you aren’t really setting yourself up for success.
•T-Timely and Tangible! You must have dates for achievement. If you plan to quit smoking you have to set a date by which you will stopped. Tangible goals are great as well. Think about potty training a child or animal. After they go potty you might give them a sticker or a treat because they accomplished a small sub goal of a bigger goal. Think about ways to reward yourself when setting short term goals.
Come back tomorrow for my New Year’s Resolutions goals and subgoals!