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All I Want For 2012 is …
Denise Dudley, Ph.D., SkillPath Co-founder

January 2, 2012

It’s only been a few days since you made them, but how are you doing on those New Year’s resolutions? Is your enthusiasm already starting to wane? Don’t feel bad. Some 75% o people who make resolutions on January 1 fail to keep them. And I have a good hunch many of those people set themselves up for failure without even realizing it. How? By setting goals that are too broad, unrealistic and—in general—impossible to reach.

Let’s take a look at your list of resolutions and see if a little tweaking could make it more likely you’re among those 25% who succeed:

  1. Is your list too long? I mean, really, expecting to change 10 or 15 things about yourself in the coming year is over the top. Trim down your list to a handful of serious resolutions and focus on those.
  2. Do you describe your goals in specific terms? If your resolution is vague—like “learn Spanish”—it’s going to be too easy to find some wiggle room. Get detailed about exactly how you plan to achieve this goal. Think in terms of which classes to take, when to enroll and how much time to devote to studying each day.  
  3. Are your goals realistic? New Year’s resolutions are supposed to be goals you can achieve in one year. So, chances are, you’re not going to double your salary by next December. Instead, ask yourself how much more money you can realistically make in the next year and make that your goal.
  4. Do you have a way to track your progress? Reviewing your progress weekly, monthly or quarterly is essential. If you’re handy with Excel®, try creating a spreadsheet to do your tracking on.
  5. Is your list visible? Out of sight, out of mind—it’s so true with New Year’s resolutions.Put a sticky note on your computer, post your list on your fridge, sign up for an on-line reminder—whatever it takes to keep your resolutions fresh in your mind.
 Do all these things and just imagine how good you’ll feel at next year’s New Year’s Eve party when you’ve followed through on all your resolutions. Good luck!