At the beginning of each year, millions of people make New Year’s resolutions, but many of them are already broken by now — which is only the 3rd day of the year. Your resolutions may have included losing weight, eating better, stop smoking, save money, or even drink less, but statistics show that you are already working towards breaking those resolutions.
According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, only 9% of people felt that they were successful in achieving their resolutions. They showed that 72% percent of people maintained their resolutions through the first week, and only 68% made it past two weeks. The numbers are against you when you make a resolution, so why even do it?
Instead of making resolutions, I chose to create goals for the year. The definition of a resolution is to make a firm decision to do or to not do something, but a goal is defined as the object of a person’s ambition or effort, or a desired result.
A goal is something to work towards, where a resolution is something that tends to be done immediately. When people make resolutions, the tend to go all in — and that is why many fail. Instead of changing everything right way and hoping for instant results, try to work towards something over a period of time.
After you create goals for yourself, write them down and post them where you will see them each day. Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at the Dominican University in California, recently conducted a study to prove that writing down your goals is more effective than not writing them down. Matthews found that 70% of participants who wrote down their goals and sent a weekly update to a friend achieved their goals, while only 35% of those who kept their goal to themselves were successful.
It is important to create goals for yourself, but it is also proven to be more effective if you write those goals down. I have created five goals for myself this year, and I will write them down and look at them each day as I work towards them. Here are five goals that I have created for 2018:
- Finish My First Book. I started my first book at the end of 2017, but I am only about 15,000 words into it at the moment. I want to complete the writing and editing of the book by the end of the year. I don’t expect or plan on this book to make it big or even get published, but I will work my hardest to make it something I can be proud of.
- Update My Blog At Least Once A Week. I have failed at keeping my website updated. I always hit hot streaks where I post a few times in a month, but then I will skip months before the next blog post. My goal is to publish a new blog at least once a week — maybe even a few times a week by the end of the year!
- Lose 30 Pounds. This will be my hardest goal of the year, by far. I love Mt. Dew and food, and I mean delicious, calorie-filled, carb-loaded, fatty foods. Also, I’ve recently experienced knee and back pain, which has made it harder for me to exercise (more of a reason to lose the weight). My target is 30 pounds, but maybe I will push myself hard enough to shed even more.
- Keep a Daily Journal. I have never kept a journal, nor have I ever been interested in doing so. Making myself write a page a day will help my writing and keep me from taking days off from it. I’m trying to become a better writer in every way, and I feel this is one tiny thing that could carry a large impact on my writing. Who knows, it may even be interesting to look back on one day.
- Read More Books. I firmly believe that in order to be a great writer, you must first be a diligent reader. I have stacks and stacks and stacks of books that still haven’t been read or even opened. Reading is also a great way to gain knowledge, and I look forward to reading books for fun and some for education. I am not going to put a number on how many books I would like to read, but I just want to open the books more than I recently have.
I hope that you will join me and ditch those resolutions — create goals in 2018! I know mine will be posted on my goal board, and I look forward to sharing the results with you at the end of the year!