Because I Want You to Be Successful

With the start of a new year, there are many people both inside and outside the blogging world discussing New Year’s Resolutions. It’s time for that fresh start, new goals, things you’re going to achieve. If these work for you (and I know of people who really do succeed quite beautifully at them!) then hooray! That’s really soo great and I am truly glad you’ve found a way to set and keep successful goals. It’s harder than it seems.

I personally don’t believe in setting New Year’s Resolutions. There are many issues that I see with them and I think you should be setting new goals all the time, regardless of the time of year! Plus, there are the hard, cold facts. The charts below are from research done at the University of Scranton on New Years Resolutions for 2012 (see here).

Rank Top 10 New Years resolutions for 2012


Lose Weight


Getting Organized


Spend Less, Save More


Enjoy Life to the Fullest


Staying Fit and Healthy


Learn Something Exciting


Quit Smoking


Help Others in Their Dreams


Fall in Love


Spend More Time with Family
Percent of Americans who usually make New Year’s Resolutions 45%
Length of Resolutions Data
Resolution maintained through first week 75%
Past two weeks 71%
Past one month 64%
Past six months 46%

Look at that! Before the end of the first week is up, already 1/4 of people who make New Year’s Resolutions have given up. By the time we reach the half way mark of the year, less than half of people are no longer engaged in their goals.

I know I sound like a hater but that’s not my intention. I know that many of you are probably among the 45% of Americans who set New Year’s Resolutions so I want to talk about how to be SUCCESSFUL with these goals you’ve set. This can also apply to other goals you may set at other points in the year. None of these tips are new or original, but are always good reminders to keep in mind.

{1} Be Specific

Looking at the list above, there are many goals listed that I don’t have a clue what those people are trying to accomplish. “Get Organized” for example. What does that mean?! Do you have a messy house that needs to be put in order? Does your life feel out of whack and you want to have a more steady schedule? Do you have important papers that you want to create an organizational method for? If you don’t know what you’re shooting for, how in the world are you going to achieve it?? Be as specific as possible so that you can make the best plan possible.

{2} Divide and Conquer

That leads me to my second point. Make a plan! When you’re getting specific with your goals, make sure your long term goal is something you can split into smaller, more manageable goals. You want to lose weight? Awesome! Let’s decide how many pounds you would like to be losing a week or a month and how you’re going to do it! You want to PR at your next race? Fantastic (me too!) Let’s find a training plan that you can follow and set mini-goals for where you should be a month from now or two months from now to reach your ultimate goal. Setting smaller goals will not only help you achieve your long term goal, but will help you keep up the motivation along the way.

{3} Discover Your Motivation

Why are you setting the goal(s) that you are? How will the fulfillment of that goal increase the quality of your life? Will fulfilling this goal make you a better person? If you don’t have any real, deep rooted motivation driving these goals, you’ll never make it 12 days, let alone 12 months. Just ask the millions of people who have given up before one month has even passed. Your motivation needs to be something you can fall back on during those times when it’s going to be hard, when you’re not going to want to continue your goal and when you’ll question why you set that goal in the first place. Then write the motivation down somewhere you can reference for when those tough days come. Because believe you me, they will come.

{4} Find Accountability

Do you have family or friends that you can report to every week on your goals? Is there some way (like a blog??) that you can record your goals and know that you’re now expected to complete them? I know that even just on this little blog of mine, if I write that I’m going to do something, it definitely pushes me to actually do it! Even something as silly as mentioning that I’m going for a run in the morning helps me to get out the door if I happen to wake up thinking I could use the extra time to catch a couple more zzz’s. If you have something or someone to hold you accountable, your own conscience will help keep you on track.

{5} Don’t Be Afraid to Change Your Goals

I think sometimes when we set goals, we aren’t really sure if they’re what we want or really understand our current capabilities. Sometimes things come up in life that we have no way of planning for and we have to adapt. Changing your goals is NOT FAILING!  If you get injured, you’re not going to be ready for that marathon but you might be able to squeeze in a couple of 5ks or 10ks. That’s great too! Be flexible and willing to change because as my dad always told me, the only thing you can count on staying the same is change.

{6} When the Going Gets Tough, Be Tougher

The truth of it is, goals are hard. That’s the point. You don’t set a goal for something you’re already doing! You’re trying to challenge yourself, push yourself and stretch your limits. You’re not always going to be successful. In fact, sometimes you’ll down right fail. But the only real failure is if you completely give up. So put on your big girl panties, buck up and if you fall down, get right back up. Because only 46% of the 45% of Americans who make New Year’s Resolutions stick with their goals for over 6 months. And that, my friends, is a pretty elite group to be a part of.

Go get ’em.

Do you believe in New Year’s Resolutions?

What are your current goals? (whether they are new or old!)


18 thoughts on “Because I Want You to Be Successful

  1. I totally agree with everything that you’ve said here. You know, I personally don’t agree with new years resolutions, because I never hold to them. I do have a goal to make exercise a regregular habit, and so I’m taking a class to make myself more accountable.

  2. Mostly I’m surprised that nearly half keep their resolutions for 6 months, that’s not at all what I expected and a little impressive. I hate resolutions like “fall in love” though-you can’t dictate when that will happen no matter how much you’d like to!

  3. I love these tips. I don’t like how easily people give up on their resolutions. (I’m one who makes them every year.) I think resolutions are a general guideline you’re aiming for, and goals are the specific steps you’ll take to keep the overall resolution. I think people do set themselves up for failure when they set resolutions that are too big, out of their control, or too general.

  4. I totally agree with this! I did a similar post a few days ago. I have one super vague goal on my list (eat healthier) but that’s just because I haven’t pin pointed what exactly I would like to do with it yet 🙂 It’s so crazy how few people stick with their goals!

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