According to Statistic Brain, about 45% of people in America set New Year’s resolutions for themselves. Of the people who set resolutions, only about 8% of people manage to keep their resolutions.
A lot of things get in the way of keeping a resolution: failing to keep yourself accountable to someone, making goals that are too vague, making a laundry list of goals and not prioritizing them, and simply forgetting about your resolutions entirely.
Well this year, you can change all of that. As an early New Year’s present to you, we’re offering free access to our Goal Planning Worksheet. Effectively setting goals with this worksheet is simple, and we’re sure it will help you better plan your goals and stick to them.
Take a look at the worksheet. You’ll see blue arrows with numbers on them. These show you what order to fill the sheet out in. The first step is setting goals and writing them down. Now, don’t just write down the first thing that comes to mind. Take a moment to think. How could your career be better? What skills could help you achieve greater success? What personal habits would help you be happier?
Once you have a goal in mind, write it down making sure that the goal is specific, achievable, and deadline driven. For example, if you want to lose weight (which happens to be the number one New Year’s resolution) don’t write “Lose weight.” Instead, specify how much weight you’d like to lose. Or better yet, specify a workout routine you’d like to stick to or a body mass index you’d like to achieve.
After writing down your goal, set a target date for achieving it. You may also want to consider breaking your goal into manageable pieces with an overall target date and several dates for achieving increments along the way. Say your goal is to learn business Spanish by the end of the year. Figure out how you’ll learn Spanish, and break your coursework into manageable chunks with their own specific deadlines.
Next, write down what your rewards will be for achieving the goal. If learning Spanish is your goal, your reward might be better career opportunities within your company. You can also set rewards like a weekend away with friends.
Then write down the consequences of not achieving the goal. How will falling short hurt you?
The next step is to prepare yourself for pitfalls by writing down all of the obstacles that could stand in your way. Brainstorm potential solutions and action steps you can take if a pitfall occurs.
Finally, go back to the top of the document and jot down a few affirmations – positive statements that will help keep you motivated. By logging your successes and setbacks in this document regularly, you’ll help yourself stay on track and realize the benefits of setting goals versus resolutions.