The Babylonians did it, the Romans did it, knights in armour were all for it and even today many people like to have a go at it this time of year, even though the overwhelming majority will fail.
We’re talking New Year’s resolutions, and for as long as people have been falling short of their self-imposed ideals they have taken to vowing to do better at the start of each new calendar year.
Some people might think that by setting themselves up with a big target (say, losing weight), they have more chance of hitting it – the old ‘aim for the stars and be happy if you get both feet off the ground’ idea. But realistically they are setting themselves up for failure from the start.
A better way to succeed is to work at smaller, more achievable and easily identified goals. These targets become like roadside markers that tell you how far you have come, rather than how far you have to go – they feed on our sense of accomplishment and spur us on to finish what we have started.
So if the ultimate goal is to lose weight this year, then be specific for a start – how much weight loss would constitute success? Once you have defined your target, then set your first marker. Don’t place it too far down the road, or you will lose interest and give up.
For example if the amount you wish to lose this year is 20kg then aim to lose 2kg in the first month. Your target is achievable, and measurable. And there is a finite time to do it in, rather than a vague ‘this year’ period to meet your ultimate goal.
Many interesting studies have been done in the last decade to illustrate how setting goals is better than making resolutions. And whether you aim to lose weight, make more money or improve your business, setting goals and kicking goals should be your aim in 2013.
What goals will you be aiming to kick this year?