Three goals-setting tips that will help you achieve your new year’s resolutions for real
On the 30th of April 1918, the well-known writer T.S. Elliot wrote in his diary, ‘Not gone to the gym once this month. Failure! Failure! Failure! Can’t I do anything right? My New Year’s resolution sagged like my stomach’.
Who hasn’t felt like that before? Utter disappointment in yourself because you failed at achieving your New Year’s resolutions? You are not the only one. 25% of people abandon their new year’s resolutions within a week. And 60% abandon their resolutions within 6 months. Only 12% achieve what they set out to do.
Did you know that the average person makes the same new year’s resolution 10 separate times unsuccessfully? One of our personal new year’s resolutions every year, here at the Core Merino team, is doing more sports and eating healthier. Does that sound familiar? But why do so many of us fail year after year? This is a question we asked ourselves after yet another disappointing year of not reaching our goals.
So, we set out on a quest to find out about what it takes to actually fulfill our new year’s resolutions. We read many books and blog posts about goal setting, we even studied an entire online course to find out what works and what doesn’t. So in this blog post, we share three useful tips so that we can all together have a successful year 2022.
Goal-setting tip 1: Write down your goals
The first tip is to write down your goals. This is straightforward and everyone can do it.
In 2015, Psychology professor Dr. Gail Matthews did a survey with 267 participants on goal setting. She found out that you have a 42% greater chance of achieving your goals if you write them down.
It is also important how we write them down. Often we just write ‘exercise regularly’. But you can do better than that.
Instead, you could write something down like this:
Finish a half-marathon by October 2022 by going for a run a minimum of three times per week.
Let’s have a look at why this is better. First, it is much narrower and concrete. Second, it also has a deadline. Concerning deadlines, you must not set all your deadlines to December 31. Instead, spread them out across the year. Third, this goal is objective because there is a way of measuring if you have achieved your goal or not – you completed the half-marathon.
Another thing to consider is that your goal, on the one hand, is realistic to achieve. So, you would not want to write down a goal, for example, that you will win the Iron Man race by October. Your goals need to fit into your life. On the other hand, the goal should also be challenging and inspiring enough to push you outside your comfort zone, where all the great things happen.
Goal-setting tip 2: Write down your motivation
Besides writing down your goal, you should also write down your motivation, your reason why. Write down why this goal is important to you, how will it make you feel when you achieve it, and what is at stake if you don’t achieve it? Here is an example: By completing the half-marathon by October 2022, I will get in better shape and improve my health. This will enable me to go on more active outdoor adventures with my family without getting tired quickly. And this leads us already to the third tip that is also easy to implement.
Goal-setting tip 3: Review your goals and motivation
Look at your goals and your motivation regularly, ideally, look at them daily. For some reason, our mind tends to be very forgetful, and we need to constantly remind ourselves of the goals we have set out to achieve. By reviewing your goals daily, you can plan the next steps that you can take towards your goals each day. Why do we need to review our motivation daily? Because life will get in our way, and we will encounter so many obstacles that we will find it hard to achieve our goals. In exactly those moments when we feel down and unmotivated, we need to remember why we have this goal. Motivation is what gets you started and what will keep you going when you encounter difficulties.
If you follow these three simple steps that everybody can do of writing down your goals, writing down your motivation, and reviewing both of them daily, you will see that 2022 will be your best year ever.
And what happens if you fail, just like T.S. Elliot? Life gets busy, we get sick, we need to travel for work, the weather changes, and then we lose momentum. We then usually tend to give up on our goals entirely. Don’t be so hard on yourself and remember that every day is the 1st of January. You can always start again. Every day, you have the chance to get closer to reaching your goals.
Need some more inspiration to define your goals? Make sure you read the stories of our Core Merino field testers, who have managed to achieve their goals: