Are your New Year's resolutions off to a strong start, or have you given up already? Hopefully, you are committed to achieving your goals and are off and running. But many people soon forget their resolutions. There are many reasons that resolutions fail so quickly; let's take a look at the most common sources of failure and how you can overcome each one.
The goal is too large. It’s great to shoot for the stars by setting a large goal, but it is also important that the large goal be broken down into smaller, more manageable, realistic, and measurable goals. Without the smaller steps, you won’t be able to achieve the larger goal.
Lack of a plan. Having a plan is critical to success, and not having one is one of the reasons that many people fail to achieve their goals. The first step is to write down your goal and define it carefully. Then, write down in detail how you plan to achieve it. Be very specific, and include details such as how you will go about it and by when. This plan is your roadmap to success; the more specific and measurable the plan, the better. Having a written plan will keep you on track and moving forward.
Lack of discipline or accountability. Many people need outside help and can't reach their goals on their own. This can be easily overcome by recruiting an accountability partner, such as a friend or family member. Find someone with a similar goal and help keep eachother accountable and motivated. Enlist whatever help and resources you think you’ll need before you need them.
Procrastination. Procrastination is one of the main reasons that resolutions fail. Have you ever said that you’ll start a diet next week -- then next week comes and you don’t start the diet? There’s no time like the present to get started!
Too many goals. Having too many goals can be overwhelming, and that sabotages your chance of success. Narrow down your list to just a few goals and focus on only a couple of things at a time. As soon as you achieve one goal, you can move to the next one on your list.
As you work on your goals for 2008, keep in mind the reasons that resolutions often fail and consider the potential roadblocks you may face. Log your progress along the way. This log can help you through tougher times along the way when you may feel like giving up. It is encouraging to see how far you have come already, and you will be motivated to keep going. And last, but not least, remain flexible and willing to adjust your plan if necessary. Don’t get discouraged and let this throw you completely off course. Stay committed and keep going!