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New year. Same resolutions?

Your guide to creating worthwhile New Year’s resolutions that will stick.

If you’re anything like me, as the New Year approaches you find yourself reflecting on the year that is concluding while optimistically looking forward to the new one.

With 2019 quickly coming to an end, the start of 2020 feels pivotal. Not only is it a new year, but a new decade. It feels like a fresh start, a great time to ditch bad habits while establishing new routines that encourage both personal and professional growth. But is it really that easy? According to U.S. News & World Report, the failure rate for New Year's resolutions is said to be about 80 percent and most people lose their resolve by mid-February. So how do you make 2020 different?

This year, instead of making the cookie-cutter resolutions that you keep making year after year, begin setting yourself up for success by turning your resolutions into S.M.A.R.T goals. This goal setting formula will turn worn out resolutions from a nice thought into an attainable and measurable task.

What is a S.M.A.R.T Goal?

Start by thinking about what exactly you want to accomplish by setting this goal. Maybe you find yourself hitting snooze one too many times and then rushing to get ready. To make your goal specific, instead of just saying “I want to wake up earlier” you would say “I want to wake up at 5:45 am on weekdays to allow myself more time.”

For your goals to be effective you want to make them measurable. This will help identify if you are successful. An example of this is to indicate the exact time you want to wake up instead of the vaguely worded “wake up earlier.”

While you want to set ambitious goals, you also want to make sure they are attainable. You can do this by breaking your goals into smaller milestones throughout the year. This will help you avoid discouragement along the way.

There is no reason to set goals just for the sake of setting goals. Use this step to evaluate why your goal is important to you and determine the benefit in reaching the goal.

A good goal is time-limited. Not only will a deadline motivate you to accomplish your goal and avoid procrastination, but it will also give you a timeframe to determine if you were successful and adapt if you were not.

Examples of S.M.A.R.T goals.

Healthier Work Habits

Probably one of the most popular resolutions you hear annually is the age old “I want to get in shape.” This goal can oftentimes seem vague and daunting. So instead of “get in better shape” which is less attainable, a S.M.A.R.T goal might be “I will implement healthier habits during my work day. I will do so by bringing my lunch 3-4 days a week, stocking healthy snacks in my desk and standing for at least one hour each day.”

Work-Life Boundaries

Many Americans often feel trapped in an unhealthy work-life balance and can’t find the time to unwind or quit working, even after hours. This year, instead of making the resolution to “work less” which has no way to measure success, try setting a S.M.A.R.T goal such as “I will not check work emails after 8 pm on weekdays or on Sundays for one month. I will set up an auto response during these times to allow me peace of mind and will reevaluate in 30 days.”

Nurturing Professional Relationships

Regardless of what profession you are in, it is hard to overlook the importance of relationships in business. So, instead of making your resolution “Spend more time with friends,” think about how to not only make that more attainable but how to invest time in your career by growing your professional relationships. A better goal, in this case, would be “This year I will join a local professional society by the end of January. I will help grow my professional relationships by participating in at least one activity outside of monthly meetings each quarter.”

It is easy to become a dreamer when the new year rolls around, but it’s important to remember that, if implemented correctly, your New Year’s resolutions can play a vital part in your success and growth throughout the year.

If you have any questions about professional goal setting or ways that you could implement S.M.A.R.T goals in your communication strategy you can always contact a Price Lang team member. We’re happy to help!

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