10 Goal Setting Tips to Help Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick
It’s a New Year. It’s A New Decade. It’s time to think about setting resolutions…or is it? Setting New Year’s resolutions may be a time-honored tradition but unfortunately making last-minute vows during a champagne toast isn’t an effective approach. Research consistently shows that New Year’s resolutions don’t work and that four out of five people who make resolutions fail to keep them.
So, how can you effectively approach making positive changes in your life in 2010? How can you ensure that you’ll stick with your goals beyond January 15th? You’ve got to make sure that your goals possess a “STICKINESS” factor. Here are some suggested steps from Susan MacCaul Siegmund from Mindbloom for doing that:
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- Start with the Big Picture: Time to turn off the autopilot and consciously set your vision for the new year. Redefine success in your own terms. What changes do you want to see in your life and roles? Why do you want this?
- Tighten the Focus: Get clear on key areas of focus for 2010. Set priorities based on the roles you play (e.g. mom, entrepreneur, spouse, self, etc.) Avoid being myopically focused on any one role as that leads to imbalance. While you are the queen of multitasking, keep your focus simple! Start with 1-3 priority areas and expand over time. Don’t neglect your “self” role. You’ve got to put on your oxygen mask first!
- Identify Intentions: Set a goal or inspiring intention statement for each focus area. Make sure that your motivations aren’t fueled by “shoulds!” 2010 is a great time to stop “shoulding on thyself!”
- Choose Actions: Break down goals and intentions into small, actionable, baby steps. Ensure that your steps are specific, realistic, achievable and sustainable. You don’t have to know all the steps, just start with one or two.
- Keep Moving Forward: Take small steps on a daily or weekly basis to help you stick with your goals and sustain the changes you want. You’ve got to do your part to make your intentions manifest.
- Introspect: Track progress and journal insights. This will help you to adjust your plan accordingly and ensure that the changes you want come to fruition and are sustainable.
- Network With Encouragers: Identify your personal “circle of support” (the people in your life who support and encourage your growth.) Ask for their support. Research shows that individuals who are trying to make changes benefit from the support of others.
- Encourage Others: Encourage your supporters in return or pay it forward by supporting someone else with their dreams. But, don’t lose yourself in the process.
- Stop the Inner Saboteur: Transform your inner saboteur into your inner ally! Work to understand the disempowering choices, behaviors and actions that might be getting in the way of manifesting your intentions. Instead, consciously choose actions that will shift your experience and empower you.
- Share Successes: Celebrate accomplishments both big and small. Toot your own horn. Share progress with your “Circle.” Tweet. Blog. Journal. Added bonus… gratitude and appreciation are scientifically proven stress reducers and health boosters!
Susan MacCaul Siegmund is a Certified Coach and Mindbloom’s Vice President of Product and Partner Marketing. Her unique career journey spans nearly 25 years and blends together extensive experience as a marketer, certified coach and educator. She is an expert on women in midlife and holds a Masters Degree in Human Development. Picture courtesy of Flickr.