If you are like 45% of the American population, you probably entered the beginning of 2012 with a fresh resolution. It could be to boost business profits, lose extra weight or spend more time with the family. But more often than not, these resolutions end before they even begin.
This reminds me of the story of a New Year’s party, where Sam turns to Joseph and asks for a cigarette. “I thought you made a New Year’s resolution to quit smoking,” Joseph says. “That’s true,” replies Sam. “I’m in the process of quitting. Right now, I am in the middle of phase one – quit buying.”
Sadly, according to a study conducted by clinical researchers at the University of Scranton, most people never manage to achieve the goals they set for the New Year.
In the details released from this study, after the first week of January, 75% of New Year’s resolution pledges were maintained. When the month of January ended, just 64% of pledges were being upheld. And six months later, only 46% of New Year’s resolution pledges were still in effect.
So what exactly is it that causes some people to achieve the goals set for the New Year and others to fail? I invite you to take a look at the following Ptex Practical Pointers – and then you’ll instantly understand why.
- Keep It Specific: Specify your goals with words that clearly define the objective and put a targeted deadline in place. A resolution “to increase sales by 25% within 6 months” is way more effective than the vaguely phrased goal “to make more money.”
- Write It Out: Create a detailed plan on paper outlining how you intend to actually accomplish each goal. While an idea may sound good at first, it’s the physical act of writing things down that solidifies the plan to ensure its eventual success.
- Modify When Needed: As with any long-term goal, external circumstances will sometimes require you to modify your approach – and even change the entire plan altogether. Be sure to periodically reevaluate your goals, adjust as necessary and continue ahead.
By combining these elements together, people looking to set specific goals will be better equipped and more empowered to keep them. Additionally, there’s another very important thing to keep in mind. The key to achieving your goals begins within; resolutions can only be achieved if you truly want them to.
So take a moment to sit down and evaluate your life. Decide what is important to you – and what isn’t. And then, create a solid plan that’ll help transform your New Year’s resolution from an unlikely dream into a realistically attainable reality.
Onwards and upwards,