Successful New Year’s Resolutions

Will you be one of the 12% of people who stick to their New Year’s Resolutions in 2008?

It won’t surprise many of you who work in business that if you use the same approach to setting personal goals that you use at work for annual objectives, you’re far more likely to succeed.

This BBC article
covers many of the key elements, which are often referred to in business by the SMART acronym: i.e. your goals should be:

S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Achievable
R – Realistic
T – Time-based

So for personal goals:

i) make sure they’re well-defined rather than vague,
ii) make sure you can measure your progress towards the goal and tell when you’ve achieved it
iii) minimise the conflict between achieving this goal and other areas in your life. Take small steps.
iv) are you willing and able? Make sure you have enough resources (e.g. time, money etc) to achieve the goal
v) set a time for starting and finishing, and give yourself enough but not too much..

It’s interesting to see that, according to research by Professor Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire, men are 22% more likely to succeed when they set well-defined goals, such as losing a pound a week rather than just saying they wanted to lose weight.

Women, on the other hand, can increase their chances of success if they tell other people what their goals are. Sharing your goals publicly has really taken off in the US, with websites such as Caroline Miller’s your100things.com.

And if you want to take part in Professor Wiseman’s New Year’s Resolution Experiment for 2008, sign up here.

Good luck!

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