It is not too late to take some time right now to make New Year’s Resolutions
What are resolutions but goals that you believe are important enough to put some thought and effort into. The beginning of a new year feels like the right time to make some goals that can change your life– to give yourself a fresh start by working and living smarter and enjoying life to the greatest extent.
Studies show that people who set goals achieve more in life. In one study, researchers from the University of Maryland, College Park College of Business and Management reviewed years of past laboratory and field studies on the topic of goal setting. Ninety percent of the studies showed positive or partially positive results when dealing with the link between goal setting and higher performance. The researchers concluded that “specific, challenging goals led more often to higher performance than easy, ‘do your best’ goals, or no goals.”
In another study, researchers from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University asked 56 female undergraduates to do as many sit-ups as they could in 90 seconds. One group, told to “do their best,” averaged 43 sit ups on each day of the four-day study. The other groups, which had been given the specific goal to do consecutively more sit-ups at each session, performed significantly better, averaging 56 sit-ups on the last day of the experiment.
My Experience with New Year’s Resolutions
My own experience proves to me that setting goals at the beginning of the year increases my chance of accomplishing them.
I did so at first as an experiment to see if it would make any difference in my life. I simply wanted to avoid being a hypocrite if I were going to write for AttractSuccess. I read an account about Harvard students. A study found that when they set goals, they accomplished miraculous things in their lives. But when they didn’t, they fared no better than ordinary people. I later learned the story was an urban myth.
But I had written a post about it and advised readers to complete the task of goal-setting with their own New Year’s resolutions. I was honor-bound to set goals, and so I did. I’ve had excellent results in reaching my goals and occasionally reviewing my goals has inspired me to keep working toward them
The system I use and recommend has been written about and emulated by a dozen different self-improvement writers. The idea is simple: Create one major goal per year in each of four categories: health, wealth, social action, and self-improvement.
Then break each goal into three or more smaller, easily completed parts, and break those smaller parts into weekly, and daily, tasks sheets. Then, spend a few minutes at the end of the day and an hour (or more!) every week working on finishing those task sheets.
I set goals on New Year’s day holiday because it is always a day off from work and the most natural time to do it. Every year has seasons (even if you live in California) that remind us of the passing of time— that we can use as reminders that it is time to review goals, modify them, and set new goals. if we don’t take the initiative to make changes, the following year will find us in pretty much the same position that we find ourselves in now.
Each year I create my own list of yearly goals. Here they are, in hopes that they’ll inspire you to make your own:
I will eat fresh fruits and vegetables with every meal. I will avoid chips and crackers and pasta. I will walk everyday and ride my bike to work when the weather permits.
I will continue to build my business. I will complete Three Wins (three specific tasks) everyday to accomplish this goal. I will earn $400,000 from my business.
My goal is to make 5 new personal friends. I will establish a business relationship with 5 new business partners. I will master social networking for my business.
I will show great, loving patience with my wife. I am studying brain development and I will learn Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
Long-term goals are the stuff dreams are made of, but short-term goals are what pave the way for success. If you focus on a series of short-term, attainable goals, you will be able to achieve small wins that encourage you while still making progress toward your dreams.
If you start off the year by making a commitment to your own New Year’s Resolutions, you’ll be light years ahead of the competition by the time the next new year celebration rolls around. Resolutions, and goals, are always a good planning idea.