My Secrets to Successful New Year’s Resolutions

by Krantcents · 26 comments

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Psssst!  Do you want to know a secret?  Actually, these are well known strategies in achieving goals.  By now you made your 2011 New Year’s Resolutions.  What do you do now?  Take some time to understand where you are as of January 1st.  Whether it is a financial, personal, or business goal, I hope my approach helps you achieve your New Year’s Resolutions.  The most important part of goal setting is periodic monitoring and adjusting your efforts to reach your goal.  An aggressive or impossible goal can be made possible!

Check-up –In many ways, it is like going to the doctor.  The doctors check your health based on normal standards or your past history.  Look at where you are today; presuming it is the first of the year.  If you are trying to lose weight, you need to know how much you weigh! If you are trying to pay off a debt or increase your portfolio, you need to know what your balance is on day one.  Now you record the number and refer to it often.  Develop daily tasks in conjunction with your weekly and monthly goals.  For me, this is the most important part of the plan.  Monitor and adjust weekly.

Goal Setting – Personally, I like SMART goals.  S stands for specific.  The more specific you can be the more likely you will be successful.  For example, I want to lose 10 lbs is much more specific than I want to lose weight.  M stands for measurable. When you monitor you goals you have to be able to measure your progress.  Continuing with the weight example, 10 lbs. is very measurable.  A stands for attainable.  This is where you find the skills and overlooked opportunities to achieve your goals.  In other words, this is when you create the steps to reach your goal.  In order to lose 10 lbs., you should lose 1-2 lbs. a week.  To do that, you would probably delete something from your diet and increase exercise.  R stands for realistic.  The essence of realistic is that you are willing and able to work towards the goal.  Your goal should be a stretch, otherwise it is too easy.  It is realistic, if you believe you can do it. 10 lbs to someone who weighs 90 lbs. may be unrealistic versus someone who weighs 200 lbs. is very realistic.  T stands for timely.  There must be a timeframe or context.  Without a timeframe, there is no urgency.  Losing 10 lbs. is easy if the timeframe is reasonable in 6 weeks, but nearly impossible in 7 days.

Planning – How do you get there from here?  This is the road map to your goal.  What are you going to do daily, weekly, and monthly to achieve your goal?  Your plan should be detailed, almost a check list of what you need to accomplish each day to make progress to your goal.  I accomplish everything I wanted because I have a detailed plan.

Performance – How effective is your action plan?  Performance is your style or manner in which anything is accomplished.  What separates success and failure is discipline and determination.  How do you handle obstacles or a negative answer?  Do you let things stop you from achieving results?  These are your personal skills in achieving the goals.

Monitoring – Periodically, checking your progress is important.  Adjusting your efforts based on the facts.  This can be done daily, weekly, and monthly.  It requires assessing what you are doing and making small changes and still meet your goal.

What is important in achieving your goals?  They have to be clearly stated according to SMART goals, closely monitored and adjusted, and all the determination and discipline to achieve your goal.  This may be a summary, but each part is very important to your success.  The clearest goals cannot be achieved without a plan and the discipline and determination to succeed.  You need all three to succeed.  If you want to turn your resolutions into a success, you know what you need to do.

Photo By:  David Boyle

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LifeAndMyFinances January 6, 2011 at 3:38 am

I like to make smaller goals within my larger goals, just to make sure that I’m still on track. For example, I’m trying to improve the subscribership on my site and want to get the number to 50 by the end of February. My smaller goal is that by the end of January, I should have 35 subscribers. If I don’t hit this smaller goal, then I know that I need to kick it in gear! :)

Krantcents January 6, 2011 at 8:27 am

I would go one more step, my daily goal would be add one a day and monitor my progress weekly. Try that and let me know if it makes a difference.

retirebyforty January 6, 2011 at 4:37 am

I like the SMART plan, but I think the real key to finishing a goal is to have a routine and stick to it. What ever your goal is, it will have to be a part of everyday life, week to week, and year to year.
If you want to lose weight, you need to go to the gym at a set time every week and eventually it will become a habit.

Krantcents January 6, 2011 at 8:30 am

You can call it a daily routine, I call it a daily task. I look at it like a daily check list, check it off and monitor progress weekly.

Invest It Wisely January 6, 2011 at 9:08 am

I like to have ongoing goals, but it’s also good to have milestones to measure against so you can see how you’ve done. Just be careful to always celebrate progress; don’t get depressed because you only got 2/3rds of the way there, as 2/3rds is still progress!

Krantcents January 6, 2011 at 9:47 am

Thanks for your comment. Missing a milestone to me, is an opportunity to adjust your efforts. Monitor if the change was positive and adjust again.

Suba @ Wealth Informatics January 6, 2011 at 6:01 pm

I do SMART goals and review our progress every month/quarter based on the goal. For blogging goals, I am stumped this year actually, because I don’t have a concrete plan on the “how” part. I can follow the conventional wisdom. I am willing to work hard, but I have not found the sure way to succeed.

Krantcents January 7, 2011 at 7:24 am

I am not sure if I have either, but my Alexa ranking keeps increasing, so I am encouraged. Thanks for your comment.

Roshawn @ Watson Inc January 7, 2011 at 5:39 am

I love SMART goals. I have been practicing this for years. It does take work because it is much more active, but the results are phenomenal

Krantcents January 7, 2011 at 7:17 am

Thanks for your comment. Accomplishing your goals makes it worth it!

N.W.Journey January 7, 2011 at 3:24 pm

I like the SMART goals concept, I just haven’t seen them ‘packaged’ this way until noticing them in a lot of blogs over the last few months. My tactic with my goals is just to focus on getting through them daily – it’s not looking at the big picture, or the long haul, but focusing on each small task I need to do that gets me towards my end result each day. I have found success in looking at other areas in this way, so I think I’ll stick with it. It prevents me from being over-stressed and going through huge pitfalls.

Krantcents January 7, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Thanks for your comment. There is nothing wrong with what you are doing, besides it is working for you. My article was intended get you to think about these concepts and what you are doing.

Kay Lynn @ Bucksome Boomer January 8, 2011 at 10:03 am

I first learned about SMART goals about 10 years ago from my boss. It’s a great to way to make changes and measure results.

Krantcents January 8, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Thank for your comment. The key to success is monitoring and adjusting your efforts.

Barb Friedberg January 8, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Hi, I really like the SMART analogy. Very clear! I am continually amazed at the power of clear cut goal setting! This one’s going in my next round up and I’m going to memorize this analogy.

Krantcents January 15, 2011 at 8:36 am

Thank you for your comment and inclusion in your round up. When I teach something new or complex, I try to find something the student or in this case reader can understand and relate.

Guest June 17, 2011 at 10:38 am

Most unique article in the net. I doubt anyone else will dare write an article about how to fulfill the impossible – keeping your new year’s resolution! LOL.

krantcents June 17, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Impossible is just an opinion!

Captain @ How to save money September 23, 2011 at 8:17 pm

Have you been doing any check ups lately on your yearly goals. It is something I was thinking about yesterday. I need to keep moving consistantly along to hit some of my yearly goals. I should have checked back in the spring.

How are you doing?

gift ideas October 21, 2011 at 11:23 pm

I always go with S.M.A.R.T goals because with this you can easily check and measure your goals.

krantcents October 22, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Monitoring your progress toward goals is very important.. Adjusting your effort goes with it as well.

Cash Flow Mantra November 24, 2011 at 3:45 pm

I will be using the smart goals for myself this year in 2012.

krantcents November 24, 2011 at 4:25 pm

The most important part of goal setting is monitoring your progress and adjusting your efforts. Hold yourself accountable.

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