We’re about to start a new year, which for many means New Year’s resolutions. Sadly, studies show only 9% of resolutions are successfully implemented. In fact, nearly a quarter of all Americans won’t even keep their promise to themselves for a whole week.
Of the myriad of resolutions committed to on January 1, an average of 19% are related to career, and 58% are financially motivated, according to Statista.com. Studies show that nearly 80% of all New Year’s resolutions fail.
The fitness app Strava has even pinpointed the exact date most people abandon their well-meaning intentions. Referred to as “Quitter’s Day,” this year it lands on January 13, less than two full weeks into the year.
This early abandonment might signal that more and more Americans are considering resolutions in terms of a fresh start and not as a catalyst for long-term change. Some people say that positive affirmations are vital to the success of any endeavor. And while good vibes could work for some, you might need something more concrete to solidify your personal growth.
There are key factors that hold people back from successful resolutions. Understanding those pitfalls and how to avoid them will get you on the path to success this coming year.
Their Approach to Resolutions
Many, perhaps even most Americans set New Year’s resolutions in the same patterns that hamper their success. Failed resolutions can be the result of the following:
- Too many resolutions;
- Vague goals;
- No clear “why”;
- No accountability; or
Your Approach to Resolutions
You can avoid making these mistakes in 2023 with a few simple tips:
Prioritize Focus Areas
Don’t over-commit yourself. One in 10 people who failed to complete their resolutions attributes the failure to setting too many resolutions.
You don’t want to make a laundry list of everything in your life that could benefit from a little boost.
Get clear on your top aspirations for the year, and save yourself the headache of an unrealistic plan by choosing just one or two areas of focus.
Perhaps you want to grow your professional network this year or are keen to build up your portfolio with new projects. Maybe you want to focus on professional development by attending courses, or you’ve got a promotion in your sights and are working towards that. Narrowing your focus areas will provide clarity and direction for the year ahead.
Set SMART Goals
SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Your 2023 resolutions should have all of these adjectives; if not, you are not making SMART goals.
Studies show that specific and challenging goals are 90% more successful than vague, “do your best” style goals. Think of your resolutions as a project that you are managing at work. Push yourself to think big but plan small with bite-sized, achievable milestones that contribute to a broader resolution on which you can hang your hat at the end of the year.
Solidify Your “Why”
Before the clock rolls over to 2023, hone in on why you have chosen this particular resolution. Identify intrinsic motivators along with extrinsic ones.
Exclusively externally-motivated people tend to experience short-term success only and then burn out. In contrast, intrinsically motivated people can push past common roadblocks and achieve long-term results.
Think of factors like satisfaction, connectedness, autonomy, mastery, or purpose. Are you motivated by any of these in your career?
For those who did not accomplish their resolutions in the past, 33% failed to keep track of their progress, and 23% completely forgot about their resolutions.
Successful resolutions are often the result of an accountable goal-setter. Reflect regularly on the milestones you created in your SMART goals, and if you’ve gotten off track, set a plan to make up the lost ground.
Request feedback throughout the year from trusted friends, coaches or colleagues. If you can, choose an accountability partner to check in with regularly.
Get Real About What’s Holding You Back
We all want to achieve success in our lives, but according to Gay Hendricks’ The Big Leap, people have an “upper limit” to the amount of success they believe they are worthy of. Anything above that level may prompt you to unconsciously self-sabotage. It may be hard to notice when the shift is happening.
- Avoid the self-imposed limit on your success by reflecting on your beliefs;
- Pause at each milestone and celebrate your accomplishments;
- Don’t take any impulsive actions after a major success; and
- Pay it forward by using that newfound success to benefit others.
Bonus: Get Enough Sleep
According to research, improving work performance is inhibited by a lack of sleep. Studies have found sleep-deprived individuals in management roles are less ethical and not as alert at work. Avoid this resolution-breaker by getting consistently good sleep throughout the year.
A Recipe for a Successful 2023
With these tips in mind, you will set yourself on the path to becoming one of the 20% who will achieve their resolutions in 2023. Obstacles will always arise, but when they do, remember the words of Robert Collier, “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.”
This post was previously published on Wealth of Geeks.
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