Shockingly, 92% of people who set New Year’s goals never actually achieve them according to research conducted by the University of Scranton. As the first quarter of 2017 closes, it’s time to check-in and see how you’re tracking. If you’re feeling frustrated and discouraged with your performance thus far, remember that you are certainly not alone. Instead, channel that energy to re-vamp your goals in order to attain them.
Here are three questions to ask yourself as you review your performance.
Are they specific? By now you’ve probably heard the statement, “Goals without a deadline are just dreams.” When you review each resolution, make sure that you’ve noted a deadline. If you included one, but missed it, simply revise it according to what is attainable. If one or more of your goals is too general, e.g. ‘Find a new career,’ set some parameters such as, ‘Decide if I want to grow within my organization, look for a similar job at a new employer or leave my industry altogether by XYZ date.’
Am I passionate about my goals? If you’re bummed out about your lackluster performance, could it be that you’ve set the wrong goal? Be true to yourself. If you don’t feel a fire burning in your belly to achieve one, then considering eliminating it. Dale Carnegie said, “Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together; and by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not.”
Perhaps you prefer to focus on doing good for others rather than solely to improve yourself. This was actually a trend when you consider the shift from resolutions made during the Babylonian and ancient Roman era which were all about doing good for others and later evolved to self-improvement goals. In 2017, experts are seeing a shift back to resolutions focused on becoming a better person.
Have I enlisted the help of others? Often times, there is a resolution or goal we’ve set because we yearn to achieve it, but somehow we keep failing. Dale Carnegie said, “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”
Instead of losing hope, enlist a friend or coach to partner with you. Determine levels of feedback and frequency which means that you must ask the person to hold you accountable and determine how frequently you want to track success. If your resolution is to do something daily so that the action becomes habitual, e.g. taking breaks at work, quitting smoking, etc. –it makes sense to check in daily. If the resolution is longer-term, such as earning a promotion, checking in bi-weekly or even monthly may suffice.
Remember, don’t allow past failures to hold you back from future achievements! Reviewing and revising your goals is a healthy exercise that will make your goals more attainable.