5 Steps to Make Your New Year's Resolutions Successful

This time of year is about exploring new frontiers and tackling new opportunities as we set goals for the months to come. I love the buzz of optimism and bright possibilities. But this time around, my high crumpled as I realized that this year's resolution sounded a lot like last year's.

Are you like me, finding yourself making the same promises to yourself, year after year? Do you even remember what you resolved to do last year? 

Why do the most sincere and earnest commitments to change fade to a distant memory come February?!

If this dilemma rings true for you, as it does for me, let me tell you that we are not alone.  Research has found found that only about 8% of New Year’s resolutions stick! That's a dismally low number.

So what's the secret to success? I did some research to find out how to transform intention into action. I found, that defying the statistics is absolutely possible by making S.M.A.R.T. goals. Successful women have clear, focused goals, with the 5 characteristics explained below. 

S.M.A.R.T. GOALS Are:

  1. Specific. Ask yourself what exactly you want to achieve, when you will do it and how. Dive into the nitty gritty. Instead of promising to “lose weight,” decide how much weight, by what date and how many pounds you will need to shed each week to get there.
  2. Measurable. Make a plan for how you will track your progress along the way.  If the goal is to walk your dog more, get a calendar and check off each day that your best friend gets his walk. 
  3. Achievable – Set yourself up for success by choosing a goal that is compatible with your lifestyle. Ask yourself if this activity and timeline is realistic given your other commitments. While packing a lunch everyday sounds like a good idea, it may not be possible given your other commitments. Set achievable goals, such as packing lunch on Sunday nights for 3 week-days and deciding what to purchase on the other 2 days. 
  4. Relevant – Set goals that are meaningful and important to you. Start by finding the genuine motivation from within yourself. Imagine what success looks and feels like, and then ask yourself how your life will be better and why this is important to you. Dig deep to discover your intrinsic motivation to change and use that as a beacon of action.
  5. Timely – Follow a timeline. If your intention is to exercise more, decide when you will begin, assign dates for achieving mini-milestones along the way and set a deadline to reach the finish line. Signing up for a race or event is always helpful for staying accountable. 

make 2016 your year!

Set yourself up for success by honing in on why your resolution is important, what truly motivates you to change and how you can make the goal realistic given the rest of life’s demands. Ask yourself these tough questions to make this year's resolutions a reality. Success is right around the corner. Go get what's yours.