The New Year is always full of promise. It is a time for renewal and starting over. Many people use the holiday season to set goals and resolutions for a better year. Certainly it is important to set goals/resolutions as it is a great road map to achieving success in all that you do.
According to studies 45 % of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions. Out of the 45%, 8% will actually succeed in accomplishing their resolutions. This is a pretty low number. Despite this low number it is much better to set goals/resolutions as it can increase your success tenfold. However, it begs the question just why so many people are unsuccessful at keeping those commitments? Lack of commitment? Too busy? Lazy?
Those can definitely be the reasons. After all everybody has seen how to set goals:
• Write down your goals and tell someone- Absolutely these are a must!
• Make your goals specific and measureable- of course makes sense right?
• Set a specific timeline-yep!
• Make sure they are realistic- duh!
Clearly these are all well-known suggestions. Many successful people follow these rules, but still so many fail. So it isn’t necessarily lack of knowledge about goal-setting, but I think that it is very possible that it is a lack of understanding the different kinds of goals.
There are a couple of types of goals. Outcome based goals such as “I want to be able to do 10 pull ups in 3 months” or “I want to lose 10lbs in 10 weeks” or “I want to have $200,000 in investments.” All of these fit the criteria above. Outcome goals are important however they do not go far enough. Just saying you want 10 pull ups will not get you there in 3 months. It is action that gets you there. This is where behavior goals come into the picture.
Behavior goals are the second type of goals. These are the steps necessary to make the outcome happen. If you set up the behaviors that are required then you will be planning for the success rather than hoping for success.
Taking the example of the 10 pull ups in 2 months, you could set up behavior goals like this:
• I commit to practicing pull ups 6 days a week over the next 3 months.
• I commit to missing no more than 1 day per week of my scheduled practices.
How do you put this into action? Take a look at your goals make sure they fit the criteria of written down, specific, measurable, time deadline and realistic. After that consider the steps you would have to take in order to make the goal a reality. These will be the behaviors that you need to put into practice in order to achieve the outcome. Concentrate on the behaviors and be consistent.
There will be things that come up that may prevent you from hitting your behavior goals. Life happens, your car breaks down, a last minute business trip comes up, you name it. No worries, give yourself a break , forgive yourself and get right back to the behaviors that will make you successful!
Do yourself a favor, take a look at your goals and resolutions set yourself up for success. Add behavior goals to your outcome goals. And at the end of the year, look back at your year and enjoy the success of being one of the 8%!