When it comes to New Years resolutions, you can either set yourself up for success or failure. The key is to make sure that your resolutions have a number of specific qualities that can infinitely increase your likelihood of keeping them when spring and summer roll around. 

Basically, you should be considering a number of different perimeters that can better define your goal at hand. By doing so, not only will you be more likely to make a more meaningful difference in a shorter period of time, but you’ll also be able to better see progress and course correct along the way. 

Just remember to be SMART.


Being vague is the surest way to fail at your New Years resolutions. You might want to be more focused on your job. But what does that really mean? Instead, resolve to always show up on time, participate at least once in every team meeting, or have zero days with any sort of incidence so that you can be up for a promotion when it comes time for your performance review. When you’re specific, it’s easy to gauge if you are actually achieving your goals or whether more effort needs to be made. 


Ask someone about their New Years resolutions, and it won’t be long before you hear the answer “losing weight.” But if your resolution doesn’t have the ability to be measured, it will be incredibly difficult to track your success over time. There are a number of ways that you can measure your progress each and every day, like by counting calories or miles walked. If you don’t start to see a difference on the scale, try decreasing your caloric intake or increasing your amount of exercise. This also helps you to be able to continually celebrate milestones.


In order to be achievable, your resolution needs to be something that you can actually take real and meaningful steps toward. For example, if your goal is to be more present with family, and yet you know that your schedule demands that you travel frequently and have few opportunities for extra vacation time, then you may be setting yourself up for failure. Instead, set up resolutions that you know can be achieved. Perhaps you can define “spending more time with family” as doing your best to be at your children’s sporting events, or having a regular date night with your spouse. Setting yourself up for failure will only demoralize you and discourage yourself from continually working toward your goals.  


It’s admirable to want to accomplish a lot within a short timeframe, but being promoted to site manager or losing fifty pounds in a year may not be entirely realistic. At the end of the day, your resolutions should be empowering, and you should never discourage you from continuing or rewarding your efforts. When considering your resolutions, take time and care to really think about what is possible given the circumstances.


Last but not least, your resolutions should have some sort of time parameter associated with them. Think of it like this, would you sign up for a race if a finish line was not put into place? Probably not. Knowing the parameters that you are working within helps to keep you motivated and your eye on the prize. Set up milestones along the way and choose a realistic goal that can be accomplished within your time frame. 

By making SMART resolutions, you can ensure that 2019 is one of the most productive, both personally and professionally. 


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