Roy McDonald has pioneered some of the best strategies for meeting goals. A self-made millionaire, he has a long history of successful goal setting. A key component of keeping New Year’s resolutions is making sure they are achievable.
“It is important that the goals you set are manageable and still pushes you to your full potential,” Roy McDonald said.
Many people are looking at their bathroom scale, a full ashtray or a neatly packed bag of unused athletic clothing and wondering what happened. The New Year’s resolution to lose weight, quit smoking or get into better shape now seems unobtainable. What started out as the best of intentions, now feels more like a burden of guilt.
According to Statistic Brain an online site devoted to all things measurable, New Year’s resolutions are likely to fail. In a report from the University of Scranton published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, less than 8% of Americans people are successful in achieving their resolution. This is despite over 45% of Americans making a resolution, often after already failing in previous years
What We Wish For
The report also revealed the top ten resolutions cited by Americans. The most common resolutions are to lose weight, become more organized and to spend less and save more. Also included are staying or getting fit, quitting smoking, to fall in love and spend more time with the family. Some resolutions are vaguer such as enjoying life to the fullest, helping others with their dream and to learn something exciting.”
“Success in reaching your New Year’s resolution begins with the goal itself,” Roy McDonald said. “The more clear the goals are the more likely you will be to obtain them.”
The numbers clearly show that the resolutions made are either unrealistic, under supported or the will to see them through declines after the initial excitement. Even more troubling, failing to keep a goal can be damaging to both the psyche and the wallet.
A common New Year’s resolution involves health and fitness. People will commit to long term gym membership contracts or expensive equipment in their quest to meet their goal. When the results do now show up immediately on the bathroom scale, they become disappointed and slip back into unhealthy habits. That is destructive to their body and a waste of money. Their determination may have been short-lived, but their gym membership will go on for months or years.
It is admirable, for instance, to set a goal of losing weight. However, because the goal is not specific there is no way to measure the progress. Instead of an inexplicit statement like losing weight set a measurable target. This could be to lose 1 pound a month or 5 pounds before Mother’s Day.
By creating a realistic objective and having measurable targets along the way, a person is more likely to reach their destination. Broad statements with vague end goals are a recipe for failure.
“Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither are new habits,” Roy McDonald said. “By breaking the end goal down into smaller steps the likelihood of success improves.”
Sometimes the New Year’s resolution is more of a wish than a goal. We all want to find true love, win the lottery or have abs like Mr. Universe. Realistically these types of resolutions are, at best, unlikely and at worst can lead to poor choices. By refining the goal over time, even ones that are seemingly unobtainable have a chance for success.
Instead of a New Year’s resolution to find true love, narrow it down to start the process. Resolve to join an online dating site or attend singles events. This way the resolution can support the ultimate wish for finding true love.
“A New Year’s resolution has to be grounded in reality for any chance of it being realized,” Roy McDonald said. “There is nothing wrong with setting goals that are difficult, but is disheartening when they are impossible.”
People make resolutions because there are aspects of their life that they want to improve. However, sometimes the unexpected happens. For instance, an accident or unplanned expense can stall a New Year’s Resolution to save money. Often, a minor setback can be enough to abandon the resolution. Instead of giving up, reset the time line and keep the goal.
”In every journey there will be bumps along the way,” Roy McDonald said. “Be patient with yourself and in the end your perseverance will pay off.”
Making the choice between hamburger with fries or a fresh salad with dressing on the side for lunch can be a temptation for even the strongest person. Roy McDonald hopes that if a New Year’s resolution is to lose 5 pounds, the salad will be seen as a small step in reaching that big goal.