Every year, countless people make – and break – New Year’s resolutions. Sometimes, it’s easy to confuse a New Year’s resolution with your personal and professional goals. But they’re not really the same thing.
There’s nothing wrong with New Year’s resolutions. But the next time you’re goal-setting, keep these tips in mind:
Make Goals SMART
Do you follow the SMART system when you’re setting a goal? Make sure your goal is:
- Specific: Too vague of a goal will never be met. Make your goal as specific as possible.
- Measurable: You need some way to measure success along your journey.
- Achievable: Your goal doesn’t need to be easy – but it needs to be achievable, or else it’s not worth trying.
- Relevant: How does your goal relate to your life, work, and future vision? Knowing how your goal is relevant to you is very important.
- Time-Bound: Set a timeframe for achieving your goal. Having no end date in mind makes goals harder to achieve.
Integrate Goals Into Your Life
Often, a New Year’s resolution is incorporated “on top” of your normal life – hit the gym more, cut out this food or that type of fat, and drink eight glasses of water per day. One reason we tend not to stick to our resolutions is that they don’t truly get incorporated into our daily life. Studies show that it takes at least a month for most people to make something a real habit. So, stick with it – integrate the checkpoints for your goal into your life, and don’t give up. Then and only then will it become something you work toward in the long term.
Make Goals Any Time of Year
New Year’s resolutions get made at, well… the New Year. But your personal and professional goals aren’t limited to January 1st. The great thing about goals is that you can set them – and achieve them – at any time. Don’t be afraid to set your next goal whenever you’re ready.
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