New Year’s Resolutions–How to Set Goals

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New Year’s Resolutions–How to Set Goals

About 50% of American adults make a new years resolutions each year; however,

  • after a week, 25 percent have failed
  • after six months, 50 percent more have failed
  • after a year, most have failed.

The issue is that most do not know how to set proper goals. Everyone is capable of change—age is not a factor. Here are some tips to ensure goal setting success:

  1. Be Specific – goals that are too vague are difficult to obtain. For example, if your teen says this is the semester they are going to make all As, that might be unrealistic if they don’t typically make As. Rather the goal should be to improve a grade in a specific subject.
  2. Make Goals Personal—setting a goal to please a boyfriend, girlfriend, parent or spouse may often cause you to not only let yourself down but also the other person. So, make goals that you want to achieve. Goals made out of obligation often result in failure. Start recycling because YOU want to make the world more green—not to please someone else.
  3. Share Your Goals – write them down, post them on the fridge and tell others. This creates a sense of internal obligation and makes it difficult to forget about them. In fact, if you can create a support network of others that want to achieve the same goal, this will further enhance your success. If you want to improve you fitness, join a running club; improve study habits, join a study group.
  4. Give It Time – It can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months before change becomes permanent because your brain needs to get used to the idea. Also, don’t let set-backs get you down. Slip ups are part of the process and another reason why you should give it time.
  5. Goals Are Different Than Dreams – Everyone should have dreams and I say dream big, but dreams are not goals. Goals are SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.

Lastly, remember that change begins with you and it is never too early or too late to start. Individuals of all ages can make resolutions. Have a great new year.



February 8, 2011at 1:06 pm

Excellent post! I can’t believe that only 50% of American adults make New Year resolutions– I would have thought the number to be considerably higher! That said… the failure rated does not surprise me!

Anyway, I concur with most of your comments and they are great “tips” to trigger success. I would even recommend adding one more that may make goal achievement a bit easier to obtain– simply put, “create milestones”.

Whiles goals are “SMART”… milestones are SMARTER [specific… measurable… attainable… realistic… timely… ESSENTIAL… REASONABLE!]

Great blog… thanks!


May 23, 2011at 8:05 am

I feel for people who cannot keep their new years resolution, and setting goals seems like a wonderful place to start keeping these promises.

I think a great tip is sharing your goals with others. This encourages people to find a good support group and have them hold you accountable.

Great Post!

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