How to Fix Your New Year’s Resolutions: Smart Goal Setting Guide
It’s time to achieve your goals. The new year is always a time to reflect on what you want in life. It’s also the perfect time for people to make their resolutions, but most of the resolutions are doomed from the start because they’re too vague or not in alignment with who they truly are. This blog post will help you create a Smart Goal Setting Guide for your resolution that is achievable and realistic, so your success rate goes way up. Whether it is learning how to cook better, writing every day, starting an exercise routine-whatever goal you have set out for yourself this year-we have you covered!
Before we get started I do have a small gift at the end of the article to make this easier. So read through it all and get the gift to make your resolution easier.
Let us start.
We will talk a little about how we are going to achieve our goals and why most fail. Second, how to create a better goal (singular for a reason) we can complete. Lastly, put that goal into our current lifestyle to turn that dream goal into a reality.
Why Resolutions Fail
Crappy New Years’ resolutions are common, they are the HUGEST goals and ones that seem to be, “that would be awesome if I could fill in the blank.” “This is the year when, when I when I go to the moon!” Dumb pie in the sky goals, for the most part. The dumbest goal that I thought I would achieve in a year, haha wow, would be to buy a Batmobile. Yes, I’m a nerd, but I really wanted one and still kind of want one. Not likely that would ever happen especially in a year and now I only kind of want one. What has been one of your worst New Year’s resolution goals?
What I’m getting at is that most are fueled with good intentions and wishful thinking, but never in a pragmatic fashion. We all can reach our goals even the dumbest ones, but it must be pragmatic first.
Most goals fail because they aren’t practical, people don’t truly want them, and they half hardly try. If a goal is worth having it is worth giving 100%.
Building a Smart Goal to Succeed
We will develop a better goal, have a great mindset with it, and then break it down so no matter what we can get the result we want.
The second part can be a bit much, but how to build a better goal is important and boring. Do the boring work, read the entire post, and then go through the smart goal guide if you want to be a better you. Skipping this section will only stop your goals from happening. TRUST ME I love to skip the boring work and get to the fun stuff, but this boring leads to amazing fun. If actually want a change then push yourself out of your comfort zone.
Let’s weed out some bad goals/ideas to put things into perspective.
Step Zero: ONLY HAVE ONE GOAL.
I have a billion goals, but I always figure out the most important one and focus intently on that singular until you achieve it or make it a habit then move on to the second most important goal. “The man who chases two rabbits catches neither.” – Confucius
Fixing Step Zero: You cannot fix this, only have one big goal to focus on.
It’s like multitasking, you might think that is great and productive but in reality, you are just hopping back and forth putting in subpar effort and both tasks are done poorly or they took longer than if done individually.
Step 1: Are you passionate about this goal?
If you visualize yourself achieving this goal, does it get you fired up? Do you get motivated just envisioning yourself achieving this goal? If not, get a better goal. One that EXCITES you and gets you up in the morning happier than me driving in a Batmobile.
Fixing Step 1: Why aren’t you passionate about your goal?
What could you do to make you passionate? Is there another goal that you are passionate about that relates to this goal? Nobody truly wants to do the work of having lower cholesterol numbers. Though what is bad cholesterol stopping you from doing? Do you want to be an amazing example to your family with your workout schedule and how great you feel when you are eating right? Well, these goals can help with cholesterol.
Step 2: Will achieving/working on this goal take away from what is important to you?
Will working out 3 hours a day destroy the relationships you cherish the most? Are you sacrificing too much for a nice idea? Weekend French classes vs. weekends with your kids, which is more important to you.
Fixing Step 2: What are you sacrificing?
If your goal is taking away from time you cherish, or takes your life in a completely different direction, are you willing to sacrifice that or can you drastically shorten your goal to minimize any collateral damage? 1 hour in the gym, online French classes to learn just the basics… This can be a hard one to fix since big goals take sacrifice, but you have to figure out what is important to you.
Step 3: Can you obtain this goal?
I used to love watching the Strongmen Competition on ESPN as a kid. Loved everything about it and would want to grow up to be them. Though genetically, it would have taken so much work to get close to that goal, like thirty-plus years of training and eating absurd amounts of food.
Fixing Step 3: Is the goal realistic or obtainable?
Can you watch a strongman competition or just train like a strongman and have that fulfill the goal? The big thing is that you have to know where you are at and understand if you can do this. If you are in the workings of this goal and you realize that it isn’t obtainable you can downgrade the goal or pivot in a different direction. For example, if you want six-pack abs but after working out and eating right you realize that it will take you longer than you thought. Could extend the goal or learn to love the process of this lifestyle?
Step 4: ABSOLUTE FAITH and a Growth Mindset.
Could I have achieved the Strongman goal, yes actually, but only if I used what I know now to when I was 13 years old. Though I would have to be 100% committed, zero distractions, all other goals are subpar and most important, I would have to have unflinching faith that I could do it. Would I be at an elite level, who knows but believing I would be is incredibly powerful. Again, having a strong enough faith that I can do achieve my goal. To pick myself up after the millionth time I failed and learn from it and keep going. If my faith were slightly off, I would stop at the ninth try. The massive gap between 9th and 1,000,000th is the difference from okay to elite. THAT is what a positive mindset, a growth mindset will do to you, it will take every failure and make you stronger and wiser. With this skill, you will enjoy failing, but you will not think of it as failing you will think of it as experience, learning, and a stepping stone to your goal.
Fixing Step 4: Faith or Support
If it is a Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal (BHAG) and you don’t have 100% faith, but you still want the goal I strongly suggest either finding/hiring a coach or surrounding yourself with like-minded people or those that have already achieved the goal. When you get beat up, they can give you that faith back to keep moving forward. Over time you might even grow that growth mindset and have an unstoppable faith in your goal
Your goal needs to pass these four steps to move forward, especially if they are a BHAG, you should know have the start of a smart goal.
If you made it this far, keep going you are doing great. *High five
Putting a Smart Goal to Work
So, we learned how to make better goals. Now let us apply it to finally make it a reality.
We are going to be breaking the goal down as much as we can to make it EASY. “I want to read War and Peace.” Starting off basic and not a smart goal, yet.
So, we have an outcome goal of reading a 1,200+ page book. A fine goal, but it would be more effective and less daunting if we turned it into an actionable, measurable goal. “I will read 5 minutes of War and Peace minimum every day.”
The goal would be more effective if it were relevant to your current life. It would be more of a small step than a giant leap. “As a Russian Literature Professor, I will read 5 minutes of War and Peace minimum every day.” That versus, “As an elementary student, I will try to read War and Peace.” Possible, but a big leap.
Lastly, having a deadline will help drive you a bit more. “As a Russian Literature Professor, I will read 5 minutes of War and Peace minimum every day so I can have it finished before the next semester.”
Fantastic stuff with a lot of psychology of habit-forming, goal setting, and mindset to create a smart goal so you can achieve what you want. Now just a few sprinkles for the icing on the cake. Take a PEN, specifically a pen, and paper and write down this goal. How is it relevant to you, what actionable and measurable goal do you have, and what is your deadline? “As a 50-year-old obese man, for every meal, I will have a serving of protein so I will have a small waistline in 4 months.”
I prefer a sticky note or taped paper with the goal written on it and put it in a place where I see it often for that daily reminder. You can even read the goal and say the goal out loud as if you already accomplished it. “I am the world’s strongest man.” “I love driving my Batmobile.”
Tell someone, be it a coach, mentor, spouse, friend, or family member your goal. DO THIS LAST. Do it to have them help you be more accountable, never do this to impress them. By telling them before you have done a lot of the leg work of the goal will give you the feeling that you achieved that goal, and you lose motivation.
Keeping on Track
If you ever get lost within your goal, something I like to do is ask myself, “what is the Most Important Next Step (MINS)?” Okay, research the cost of a Batmobile. A Lamborghini Sesto Elemento is a modern, more realistic Batmobile for me and it costs $2,920,000.
Then I repeat. The MINS is if I want it within 2 years, how much do I need to save to make that happen. If I were to pay full in cash, I would have to save daily (daily and actionable goal) $4,000 every single day for 2 years. It isn’t sounding too realistic right now.
Then I repeat. The MINS is I would need a career that pays me $10,000 a day if I were to work 7 days a week and take 40% of my earnings and put it towards my new Batmobile.
Then I repeat. The MINS is learning how to become a professional athlete with a big enough salary to make $10,000+ daily. Well, I cannot do that so I would pivot my goal. Extend the deadline, maybe think about getting a car loan instead of paying in cash, maybe a used Lamborghini, calculating ways to invest so I can be making more money without becoming a professional athlete… We all understand what I’m getting at. But if we get lost or we don’t know of an actionable step we can take we do this MINS exercise. I can easily boil down my Batmobile goal, which is so far away from me accomplishing, to calling my bank to set up a financing plan to buy a used Lamborghini Aventador for $905,000 in 2025. It’s 10,000 dollars a month with my credit and a $50,000 down payment. SO 30x better than my original goal and I’m still excited beyond belief to be sitting in my own Batmobile. That is the absolute power of proper goal setting, taking an outlandish goal like mine and completely revamping it into something I could legit do right now and take easy, daily steps towards.
No, I’m not buying one. I’m better with my money than that, but I did call to figure out all the details and it did get my wheels turning for the future.
Wrapping all of this up, that was a good chunk to take in. Something most people do on a whim to building it into a habit you do every day to me is fun. As a personal trainer, nutritionist, mindset coach, and overall health entrepreneur this is something that easily changes lives. So I challenge you to do it, do all the boring work right, and create a smart goal.
If you made it this far, congrats, and to reward you I created a Goal Building worksheet to help you even further. This will help take away any difficulty in making your dreams a reality.