By: Antoniya Nemtserova
Every New Year’s Eve we pick some of our negative habits and tell ourselves that this is the year to get rid of them. We wake up enthusiastic on January 1 and start working on kicking that bad habit to the curb. As the months go by people tend to become lazy again and eventually that once mentioned goal verges to oblivion until the following Year. Why is that approximately 40% of Americans share this common goal of trying to improve themselves and why is it that according to University of Scranton only 8% of them actually achieve their goals?
Don’t Overload Your Brain with numerous small and too complicated scenarios for achieving as many small and insignificant goals. Sit down and think seriously what is that single goal, that once achieved would make you truly happy, proud of yourself, and a step closer to your perfect self. Think hard. Make a list. Pick the one and take off. Remember, it is your satisfaction and elevated confidence at the end that is the real ultimate goal of this exercise.
Setting goals is always exciting and motivating, at least in the beginning but the success rate of achieving that specific goal often tends to plummet depending on how vague or immense it is. The pitfall of the excessively complex goal is it may turn into an allegory of unreachable happiness – so close and yet never close enough. A goal whose progress of achievement we cannot measure nor relate to on a daily basis. It is rather detrimental for both, our levels of satisfaction and perspectives for success. That’s why it is better to be specific; instead of promising ourselves to lose an unspecified amount of weight this year, we should decide on how often a week we will go to the gym or how many pounds we want to lose each month.
Quitting smoking is another popular resolution, which is almost impossible to achieve if we don’t realize that making small steps toward it is still progress. It is easier to promote ourselves by cutting in half the number of cigarettes we smoke per day and feel winners, rather than quitting cold turkey. Saying “I am not going to smoke ever again” will later leave us feeling miserable because we couldn’t keep up with our overrated promise.
Rather than setting a vague goal, be specific! Make baby steps and turn your goal into a habit which is an achievement in itself and eventually can become a long term success.