Last year I wrote out goals in the four areas of focus discussed on this blog. It was a great exhaustive, multi-post list. How many did I actually accomplish. Ehh….maybe 1. Each year we start fresh. Each year we start new and set our sights on accomplishing new goals and resolutions. It is a great idea but often it is a failed effort. Why? Here are five reasons this happens.
We pick large goals with no path to get there
One of the reasons we often fail to stick with our goals and resolutions is we select a goal that seems almost unachievably grand, like losing 50 lbs or saving $100,000. Then we fail to map out the steps involved in achieving these big goals. It is great to aim high, but if we ever hope to achieve them we must attack it in parts. By breaking this goal down into small, achievable parts we visualize how to get there.
We choose too many goals/resolutions
My goals failed last year because I gave myself so many points I wanted to achieve that my focus was scattered. My goals were all across the board on so many topics. It was impossible to keep track of progress let alone remember what goals I set come mid year. It was way to ambitious and unachievable. In goal setting as in most areas of life simple is better.
We didn’t select goals/resolutions we really care about achieving
No, I am not going to give you the “anything is possible” line or “If you can dream it you can do it.” Yes, you can if you actually put the effort in. Dreaming alone will not get you there. It would be nice to lose the extra baby weight but if we really don’t want to change our habits then it is not going to magically happen. I would love to eat healthier and exercise more, but if I have no intention of getting off my lazy butt and changing my behavior I am going to fail. Just stating you want to do it is not enough. You actually have to care about getting it done. If you really don’t care enough to put in the effort and change the behavior then your resolution will go nowhere.
We picked the wrong goals for us
Everyone makes the resolution to lose weight but maybe that should not be the primary focus. Maybe joining a support group or getting the help of a nutritionist might be a better goal for you. Paying off debt might be a great goal but if you are in the a habit of whipping out your credit card maybe you should focus on using cash only instead. Picking the goal that doesn’t address your current bad habit will only set you up for failure.
Not putting a number to you goal.
One of the primary items discussed in successful goal setting is quantifying you goal. Don’t talk in lofty terms of someday. Give it a number. For example, I will eat five vegetables daily or I will save $1000 by February 1. Assign a date, amount or number to you goal. If you can not insert a number then your goal is to vague and probably needs to be narrowed down.