Did you make any New Year’s resolutions this year? Have you stuck with them? If you’re still going strong, good for you! If not, you’re not alone. According to Forbes, over 40% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, but only 8% succeed in keeping them.
The problem with New Year’s resolutions is that they are basically just a statement of dreams. I will lose weight this year. I will spend more time with my family this year. I will make more money this year. These are all great resolutions, but they’re not good goals. In order to turn a great resolution into an achievable goal, it must be a STAR.
S = Specific
In order for a dream to become a goal, it must be specific. “I will lose 12 pounds by spring break” instead of “I will lose weight this year” or “I will increase my earnings by $20,000 this year” instead of “I will make more money this year.” These goals are clearly defined with a deadline attached.
T = Trackable
How will you measure your progress? When will you be reviewing your progress? If your goal is to lose 12 pounds by spring break, your progress can be easily measured with a scale, weighing in weekly. But if your New Year’s resolution to spend more time with my family is to become a goal, you must decide how you are going to measure “more time”.
A = Actionable
How are you going to achieve your goal? What steps do you need to take each month, each week, each day to reach your goal? This is where you create your plan of action: list the steps you need to take, and assign a time to complete each step. This, in my opinion, is the most important aspect of goal setting. After all, a goal without a plan is not a goal; it is a dream.
R = Relevant
Why do you want to attain this goal? If your goal is to increase your income by $20,000 this year, what will you do with the extra money? Having a reason behind your goal keeps you motivated when putting in the extra time and effort.
You Can Set Your STAR Goals Anytime
If you are still going strong with your New Year’s resolutions, great. Take some time to turn those resolutions into goals, and chances are you’ll still be going strong six months from now! If you’ve already tossed your resolutions aside, that’s okay too. Goals can be started anytime — it doesn’t have to be at the first of the year, the first of the month, or even the first of the week! Revisit your resolutions, re-frame them as STAR goals, and get started now. No need to wait until next New Year’s Day!