The Science of Setting Goals: How To Make Your New Year’s Resolution Stick

The Science Of Setting Goals
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The year is coming to a close and many of us are reflecting on the past year and making resolutions for the coming one. When it comes to making resolutions, it is easy to make ambitious ones that are difficult to achieve. However, research has shown that the most successful resolutions come from setting specific goals with measurable results, making them attainable and relevant, as well as giving yourself a deadline.

In this article, we will discuss the importance of setting SMART goals, how to break your resolution into smaller tasks, and how to reward yourself for completing them.

But first, what is a New Year’s Resolution, and why do so many people fail to keep them?

A New Year’s resolution is a promise oneself to make changes in the coming year, usually for personal improvement. However, many of us set lofty goals that are hard to achieve and lack clear milestones because they are not specific or measurable. This can lead to feelings of failure because our resolutions remain unfulfilled, and ultimately leads to giving up on them completely.

How do you set specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound goals?

When creating your resolution, it is important to set SMART goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

The first step in setting a SMART goal is making sure it is specific. This means you should have a clear understanding of what you are trying to achieve and why. For example, instead of saying “I want to be healthy”, you could say “I want to lose 10 pounds in 3 months by exercising 4 times a week.”

The next step is making sure your goal is measurable. This means that you should have a way to track your progress and see how close you are to reaching your goal. This could be by tracking the number of pounds you lose, or by keeping a journal to track the minutes you exercise each week.

The third step is making sure your goal is attainable. This means that it should not be too ambitious and that it should be realistic given your current lifestyle and resources. If your goal is to lose 20 pounds in two months, it may not be realistic and you should consider readjusting your goal.

The fourth step is making sure your goal is relevant to your life. This means that it should fit into the current demands of your life and help you achieve what you want. If losing weight will help you feel healthier and more confident, then making that your goal is relevant.

The fifth step is making sure your goal has a time-bound component. This means you should have a set timeline for when you want to achieve the goal by, so that you can stay motivated and on track.

Once you have set SMART goals, it is important to break them down into smaller tasks. This will make them more manageable and easier to complete.

How to break your goal into manageable tasks

Breaking down your goals into smaller, manageable tasks can make them easier to complete and keep you motivated. For example, you want to be healthier and lose weight. Instead of setting a goal to lose 20 pounds, break it down into smaller goals such as exercising for 30 minutes 5 times a week or cutting out sweets. You can also list down all options to achieve this goal such as consulting a weight management doctor in Salt Lake City or elsewhere, starting a diet plan, or joining a gym.

When you break your goals into manageable tasks, it is important to set milestones for yourself so that you can track your progress and feel a sense of accomplishment.

How to reward yourself

Rewarding yourself for making progress or completing tasks can be a great way to stay motivated. When setting rewards, it is important to find something that you truly enjoy and will look forward to. This could be something small like a movie night or a piece of your favorite dessert for completing tasks, or something larger like a weekend getaway for reaching your goal.

By setting SMART goals and breaking them down into smaller tasks with rewards, you can create a plan to help you reach your resolution and make it stick!


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Mike Farrier possesses over 18 years of hands-on experience in software and web development, SEO, social media marketing, eCommerce, and digital marketing. He has been active in the online domain since 2019, serving as a seasoned SEO and digital marketing consultant.