The Smart Money Says Bet on Yourself in 2020
New Year’s Eve: the annual event of connecting with friends and family, watching extravagant fireworks displays, and setting resolutions for the ways you’re going to improve, kick bad habits, and make the next 12 months your year.
But be honest, how often do you actually stick to your resolution? Your daily exercise routine quickly becomes weekly at best, or you crack and eat fast food again before it’s even February, or you lose the courage to ask your boss for the promotion you sorely deserve by the time the office reopens.
Obviously not everyone can be failing at their New Year’s goals though, because the concept is still so popular. Successfully making substantial changes to yourself and your life requires more than just the desire to change. You need dedication, determination, and, most importantly, organisation.
This is why so many people who succeed with their resolutions utilise SMART goals:
- Specific — Having a clear and well-defined goal will significantly increase your chances of staying on track to accomplish it. If you make the resolution to “eat healthier” then the vagueness invites the opportunity to cheat occasionally, while if your resolution is to “eat only salads for lunch, have no snacks in the afternoon, and include a serve of vegetables with every dinner” then you have created an unambiguous framework to adhere to.
- Measurable — Without criteria of success that you can quantify it is impossible to measure progress, and being able to observe your progress is a surefire way to stay motivated. Using the example above, depending on what your reason for eating healthier is, your measurable criteria could be weight loss (i.e. I will try to lose 0.5kg every week) or consistency (i.e. I will have no more than one burger a week).
- Achievable — There is value in being optimistic and dreaming big, but a goal that is too lofty is bound to discourage you in the long run. Consider what it will take you to achieve your goal, the resources, tools, time, and effort required, and if these are beyond your reach, then it is safe to assume that your goal is unrealistic. This doesn’t mean to give up on the dream, but rather to reconfigure it into a series of smaller, more manageable stages.
- Relevant — The purpose of relevancy is to ensure two things. The first is that your goal actually matters to you; if you don’t have the desire to eat healthier, it’s unlikely that you’ll succeed. The second is to make sure that it aligns with your other wants and needs. Little of what we do in life exists in total isolation, so it is essential that if your goals run contrary with other important aspects of your life, you have considered how you will negotiate this conflict.
- Time-bound — A goal without a date to achieve it by is nothing more than a wish. By setting yourself a deadline, you provide yourself with something tangible to focus on and a means of completing the goal, which helps to prevent your everyday jobs and chores from taking precedence over your long-term resolution. Having a date to strive for is also very important for evaluating how well you achieved your goal.
You significantly raise your ability to achieve your resolution for 2020 by following these criteria, and betting on yourself and your potential is the best way to start the new decade with impact.