Every year, millions of people across the world set themselves goals and resolutions, from finding a new job, to quitting smoking or working out more but unsurprisingly, a huge number of these people fail within the first few weeks! In fact, a recent study carried out by Dr. Richard Wiseman from the University of Hertfordshire showed that from a group of 700 people attempting to keep their New Year’s resolutions, only 12% of the group were actually successful.
So what’s the secret key to keeping on track with your goals?
Luckily for us, Dr. Wiseman delved deeper with his research and uncovered what he believes are 4 ways to help individuals achieve their goals:
1. Focus on 1 thing
One of the main reasons why people give up on their resolutions is because they try to take on too much at the same time. Make sure you focus on just one goal at a time, so that you can give your full attention to achieving that one goal. Studies show that you have a much better chance of being successful reaching your goal if you channel all of your energy into making one single change in your life at a time. Before you start, therefore, think carefully about all the things you would like to achieve, and choose the most important one to start with.
2. Break down your goal
Start by breaking down your goal into a series of steps to make your goal appear more manageable and achievable. Here we are looking at creating ‘sub-goals’, each of which should be exact and clear enough that you know when you’ve achieved it. For example, rather than thinking ‘I want to find a new job’ you could instead set yourself weekly targets such as ‘this week, I will complete my CV and cover letter and next week I will make contact with twenty different companies that I’m interested in.’
3. Remind yourself
Once you’ve set yourself your smaller sub-goals, you need to make sure you keep on track each week. Remember to keep reminding yourself why you set yourself this goal in the first place. Remind yourself of the benefits of achieving your goals and keep a checklist listing how your life would be better once you reach your target. For example if you’re looking for a new job, start thinking about the benefits, such as ‘I’ll earn more money and be able to buy a house’, ‘I’ll have the chance to be more creative than in my current role.’
4. Failure is ok
Don’t worry if you don’t manage to stay on track every day! You should expect to revert back to your old habits at times and this is normal. The important thing is to consider each failure as a minor set-back rather than a reason to give up altogether. It’s human nature to mess up occasionally, but don’t blame yourself when you do. The important this is to stay strong and not allow yourself to give up simply because you’ve faltered along the way