Is it a Resolution or a Goal?

People all over the world are making New Year’s resolutions today. More than 40% of us are busy making promises to start doing something good or stop doing something bad on the first day of the year. New Years day brings a flurry of optimism and we are motivated by aspirational behaviour like improving our physical wellbeing, spending more time with the family and so forth.

The trouble is that 88% of us will fail. Very quickly, we lose sight and interest in our resolutions. Most often than not, we start the year off with an important, perhaps even noble, intention for change. We are making a promise for a good intention for later – and that is one of the reasons we fail. Lack of immediacy and tangible motivation.

The second reason for the glum success rates may well be that we start off with the wrong mind set. What we should be doing is setting goals. A goal is something that we want enough that we make an effort to reach it. Goals give us a sense of meaning and purpose, points us in the right direction and gets us interested and engaged. If we want to succeed, we need to set goals. Without goals we lack focus and direction.

When we set goals for ourselves, they must motivate us: this means making sure that they are important to us, and that there is value in achieving them. If you have little interest in the outcome, or they are irrelevant given the bigger picture, then the chances of us putting in the right amount of effort to make them happen is slim.

‘SMART’ goals is a long standing and trusted technique I’d suggest everyone follow. You will find countless resources online about SMART goals.  I have recently had the pleasure of meeting Bruce Morrow who talks very passionately about using the ‘Outcome Model’ and he has a published book which should defiantly be on your January bedside table (or Kindle).

As I set down to map out my own goals, I am reminded of a great line I heard this week ‘The lazy will not inherit the world in 2014’. With that said, I wish you all a prosperous year ahead. Carpe diem!