So you’ve wrapped up 2011 and kicked off 2012 with a bang – its time to get serious about your New Year’s resolutions. If you’re like most people, there are a few areas where you think that a bit of improvement might be in order. Perhaps you’d like to lose a few pounds, stop smoking, or help out with your favorite volunteer organization. Well good for you! Let’s get started but before we do let’s point out a few things that will help you along your way:
- Be realistic about your goal. There’s nothing to be gained from setting a goal that could never possibly be attained – you’re just setting yourself up for disappointment.
- Build a plan that allows you to measure your improvement along the way. Striving for and achieving incremental milestones is a much more manageable approach than trying for something that requires a “big bang” approach.
- Find one or more partners. Frank Ra (the author of a book on the subject titled A course in happiness) said ”[r]esolutions are more sustainable when shared, both in terms of with whom you share the benefits of your resolution, and with whom you share the path of maintaining your resolution. Peer-support makes a difference in success rate with new year’s resolutions.”
- Don’t give up on the entire resolution if you hit a roadblock or encounter a set-back. According to Wikipedia: “[r]ecent research shows that while 52% of participants in a resolution study were confident of success with their goals, only 12% actually achieved their goals.”
Personally speaking, I’m looking to improve my fitness in 2012 and would like to shed a few excess pounds. Given that I anticipate spending a significant percentage of 2012 “on the road” for work, it will be a challenge but I’m going to put a plan in place and with the assistance of my wife who has a similar goal I think there’s a good chance we’ll be able to meet our goals.
Have a look at the infographic below that sheds some light on other popular resolutions and the benefits – individual and collective – we could reap by setting and achieving reasonable goals.