If the goals you made in January are just a distant memory, you’re not alone. Experts estimate that around 80 percent of us fail to realize our New Year’s goals every year. Placing your New Year’s resolutions aside, the practice of setting goals is important. “It’s innate and instinctual to have a direction we’re working for, lest we simply wander into the woods for lack of purpose,” says Mary Juetten, CEO of Traklight.
Although setting goals is important, the method you use to achieve those set goals is equally important. Before you say goodbye to your New Year’s resolutions for 2021, here are some tips on how to reignite your goals for success.
Adjust for Changing Priorities
This past year has brought about many changes, so it’s no surprise if what mattered most during the holiday season may be different now. That change in perspective takes a toll on your motivation to accomplish those goals. You don’t have to cancel setting goals around a particular task. Instead, just adjust them to better match your new desire for achievement.
Start a New Timeline
OK, so you lost focus on your New Year’s resolutions. That doesn’t prevent you from starting a clean slate at the beginning of a new month, a new week, even a new day. “While most believe that having a long-term goal is crucial to success, successful people understand that without small, daily goals, you will get demotivated easily; success will in turn become hard,” says Daniel M. Wood, founder of LookingToBusiness.com. So take the new timeline as an opportunity to recommit to meaningful goals.
Make Specific Goals
Successful goals need to be “smart.” Many thought leaders promote setting goals that fit the SMART qualifications:
- Specific: Identify exactly what you want to accomplish.
- Measurable: How will you know if you’ve achieved it or not?
- Attainable: Your goals must be within your capabilities.
- Realistic: It’s got to be practical.
- Time: Allow yourself enough time to accomplish your goals.
“We want to set the goals that our heart conceives, that our mind believes and that our bodies will carry out,” says motivational speaker Jim Rohn. Setting goals that are SMART allows us to do just that.
Determine Why the Goal Matters
Before you commit to a goal, ask yourself if this task truly matters to you. What difference will it make in your life when you accomplish it? “The goals you were successful in achieving had a purpose,” explains John Hall, cofounder of the scheduling and productivity app Calendar. “Those goals you failed to accomplish did not. In other words, you knew why you put these goals in place, which motivated you to follow through.” Don’t be tempted to set goals that merely sound impressive. Instead, work toward goals that add meaning to your personal life.
Whether you start the new year or the new day setting goals, goals are important. Use these tips to add new life to those old New Year’s resolutions and enjoy personal success any time of year.