According to Forbes research, the average new year's resolution lasts less than four months. Survey results found that only 8% of respondents stick to resolutions for one month, 22% for two months, 22% for three months and 13% for four months. So, how can we set goals that we’ll actually stick to?
Action Based Goal Setting
Action-oriented goals tend to have a higher success rate than avoidance-oriented goals. Resolutions typically tend to be avoidance-oriented and, when we set rules for ourselves, often they prove difficult to stick to or we end up bending them. So rather than set resolutions this year, think about setting goals.
Choose Your Focus Areas Wisely
We get it, there are probably a number of goals you want to achieve, but to maximize your results, it's best to limit the number you set. Taking on too much can be overwhelming, and at times paralysing.
We’ve all experienced those days when simply nothing on the to-do list gets done because the list itself is simply too long. So, take it one goal at a time. Plus, achieving that first goal can increase motivation and self-belief to achieve the next.
The exception to this is goal stacking, or working smarter rather than harder. If, for example, your goals are to get fitter and to spend more time with friends, combine the two and hit the gym together.
You achieve two in one and have the added benefit of working out with an accountability buddy.
Never Underestimate the Power of Planning
You’ve probably heard the term, if you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail. This is particularly true for those longer term goals. Working towards a long term goal often feels easy at the start when we’re full of motivation, however as the months drag on, that initial motivation tends to wane, hence the four-month drop-off.
As a kick-off point, make a list of actions you can take to achieve the long term goal, identify potential obstacles and how you might overcome them. That way, if difficulty does arise, you’re better prepared to overcome it rather than to give up.
Think of micro goal setting as a roadmap for achieving your overarching goal. For example, if your main goal is to ‘get fit’ you can break this down into smaller actionable steps, such as attending a HIIT class twice a week. This will allow you to keep track of the milestones along the way and celebrate the small wins to maintain motivation.
Consistency Above All Else
Habit formation takes time. Rather than view change as a linear process, try to frame it as a journey. Particularly when it comes to health based goals, which rely on our everyday habits and behaviour, it’s incredibly easy to slip up.
However, consistency will always rule supreme. One day of regression does not mean failure. Small steps each day or even each week can lead to tremendous change in the long run.Set those goals in style, wearing the Technical Linen-mix Shirt and Pants.