Every year, we start January 1st with a list of resolutions we think will help change our lives. “I’m going to be fit this year”, “I’m going to be rich this year”…and every year we end up with a grand list of resolutions we forget by the middle of February.
An Ipsos survey found that 8 in 10 Canadians have failed to keep resolutions, as people cited a lack of willpower, motivation, or drive as the most common barriers. That means 80% of people who set goals are bound to fail them? That’s NOT what I call a happy ratio.
According to Ellyn Kaschak Ph.D., a contributor to Psychology Today, it’s not realistic to make a resolution for the next 365 days. So instead of huge, forgettable goals made at the beginning of the year, why not try setting daily, weekly, or even monthly goals you’ll actually achieve for a change? Here are some of the best tips I found across the internet to help you (and me) achieve our goals in 2019.
Instead of setting year long resolutions, why not try setting Monday Resolutions. One of the biggest reasons why people give up on their yearly resolutions so early on is because once they’ve dropped the ball once or twice, they get into the mindset of “well, better luck next year.” So instead of giving you 350 days before you can reset your goals, how about just set short goals every week that are easier to achieve? For those who like to “reset” if they drop the ball, starting over the next Monday, is going to ensure you waste a lot less time than starting over the following year.
Why Mondays? Mondays have the power of a fresh start, much like January 1st does. It’s a new week, and another opportunity for you to set goals and crush them. Being the first day back at work after spending the weekend to recharge, you should perform your best on Mondays. It’s even been proven scientifically. Studies done by Psychological Science suggests that we are more likely to actually follow through with our professional goals if we start on a Monday rather than a Thursday.
“People tend to attribute negative traits and failures to their past selves while maintaining a positive image of their current selves. Dates that stand out as being more meaningful—such as the start of a new week or financial quarter, a birthday, or a holiday— signal the start of a new, distinct time period. These “temporal landmarks” make it easier for people to mentally separate from their past imperfections and failures.”
Break Your Goals Down
Another reason why it’s easy to forget about to your New Years Resolutions is because we often set broad and vague goals for ourselves, with no deadline. How exactly are you supposed to measure “I’m going to get fitter” or “I’m going to be healthier”?
In order for you to be able to properly track your goals, break your goals down into three portions:
- Outcome Goals
- Performance Goals
- Process Goals
Your outcome goals are your broader scope of what you want to accomplish. This usually can have a longer timeline than the other two. An example of an outcome goal would be “Reach 20,000 subscribers by March 1st” or “earn an extra $2500 per month from my online business”.
Once you have your outcome goals set, you break it down further and set performance goals. Based on your list of outcome goals, give each outcome a performance measure. So for “reach 20,000 subscribers” your performance goal could be “create at least ONE valuable piece of content every week”. For your “earn an extra $2500 per month” goal, your performance goal could be “send out 10 pitches every week”.
On an even deeper level, give each of your performance goals a process goal. Breaking your performance goal down to a specific action or process will help give you a much clearer path to achieving them. For example, your “create at least ONE valuable piece of content every week” goal could be further broken down to “film every Tuesday, without fail.”
Begin with Intention
As Naz Beheshti, contributor to ForbesWomen says, “In the same way an attitude of gratitude should be a year-round practice rather than consigned to one day, setting intentions to better ourselves will be more sustainable if we spread the effort throughout the year.”
Instead of setting goals, resolutions, and other targets that are confined to a succeed-or-fail dynamic, setting intentions honour effort and process rather than just looking at results. When you remove the pressure of succeeding, the task or intention you’re trying to meet becomes something you enjoy doing rather than something you feel like you have to do.
“We might adopt a long-term goal of reducing stress by practicing meditation. That is a worthy and not always easily attainable goal. Yet on a daily basis, our intention may be to sit for two minutes and pay attention to our breath. I tell my clients there is no such thing as a bad meditation session. There is no failure. As long as you choose to sit quietly—and, depending on the type of meditation, focus on your intention, breath, or mantra—it is a success.”
2019 is going to be our year of accomplishing all that I set out to do. Are you ready for a wicked year?